‘Blockbuster’ Winter Storm to Hit East Coast This Week

People walk under snow along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington February 21, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The biggest East Coast winter storm in years is on target to hit the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday, threatening up to 2 feet of snow in some areas.

Forecasters warn that the “blockbuster” storm will hit hard and fast, causing major disruptions or even shutdowns in travel, as well as shipping delays, school closings and power outages, AccuWeather said.

The National Weather Service said, “A widespread swath of heavy, wet snow is likely from the central Appalachians and interior Mid-Atlantic into portions of the Northeast and southern New England. Freezing rain and ice are also likely in western North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Travel is not recommended.”

Some areas may pick up their heaviest snowfall in several years, rivaling December records, according to AccuWeather. Many cities will see more snow this week than they saw all last winter, the Weather Channel said.

In the big cities, according to the Weather Service, the snowfall forecast for Washington is 1 to 2 inches; for Philadelphia, 8 to 12 inches; for New York City, 14 inches; and for Boston, 8 to 12 inches.

As of Tuesday morning, the heaviest snowfall amounts are forecast across western Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania, where as much as 2 feet of snow could fall. The combination of heavy snow and gusty winds could create near-blizzard conditions, AccuWeather said.

The Weather Service posted winter storm warnings, watches and advisories all the way from northeastern Georgia to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a distance of more than 850 miles.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice