The National Weather Service expanded its blizzard watch to include New York City on Thursday, as the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. braced for a storm that could cripple travel when it hits this weekend.
The country’s largest city may experience up to a foot of snow and damaging winds on Saturday and Sunday, according to the NWS advisory. New York City residents should also prepare for dangerous travel amid whiteout conditions.
The advisory follows previous warnings for the Washington, D.C. area, which is expected to get the hardest hit. The region, including parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland, has a blizzard watch from Friday afternoon to late Saturday and may receive 12 to 18 inches of snow. The D.C. area got a smaller amount of snow Wednesday evening and Virginia declared a state of emergency Thursday morning.
“All Virginians should take the threat of this storm seriously and take necessary precautions now,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe in a statement. Potential problems include “travel disruptions and possible power outages, ” he said.
The storm threatens to hinder travel throughout the region with major U.S. airlinesoffering to rebook travel for free and saying customers may expect cancellations and delays. NWS alerts warn the region’s resident to avoid driving in blizzard conditions.