The busy Northeast corridor prepared for a winter wallop that was expected to bring up to 2 feet of snow from northern New Jersey all the way up to Massachusetts. Here's what residents of the big cities in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic need to know about the coming storm:
SNOWSTORM VS. BLIZZARD: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for a huge swath of the region, meaning potential white-out conditions as heavy snow swirls amid gusting wind. The weather service says a blizzard includes sustained or frequent wind gusts of 35 mph or greater and considerable falling snow that lasts for at least three hours. This storm is expected to last up to 36 hours in some locations, forecasters said.
More than 1,700 flights scheduled for Monday are expected to be cancelled, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. Most major airlines are allowing customers whose flights are canceled in the next few days to book new flights without paying a penalty. Customers ticketed on flights to dozens of Eastern airports are generally eligible for the allowance, though specific terms vary by airline.
A blizzard expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow should begin around midday Monday and last through Tuesday night. Nearly 200 Monday flights had already been canceled Sunday night at the three major airports serving the city.
A blizzard warning will be in effect from 7 p.m. Monday to 1 a.m. Wednesday, with about 18 to 24 inches of snow forecast for the city, but up to 2 feet to the west. Hurricane force winds were predicted for Cape Cod and the nearby islands, and wind gusts of up to 75 mph were possible farther inland.
From 20 to 30 inches of snow was predicted, including snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour at some points Monday night or Tuesday morning.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
Accumulations of around 20 to 27 inches were expected with locally higher amounts possible, plus blizzard conditions that include damaging winds and considerable drifting and blowing snow.
An initial shot of one to three inches of snow early Monday is a prelude for the main storm that arrives about noon, when a winter storm warning goes into effect. Up to a foot of snow is expected before the storm ends about 6 p.m. Tuesday, with less to the west and more in New Jersey toward the coast.
Snow should begin falling before noon Monday and end by midday Tuesday, with only about 1 to 2 inches accumulating in Washington but 2 to 5 inches in Baltimore.