Add up the populations in areas that the National Weather Service is warning will get at least 1 to 2 feet of snow starting Friday afternoon and you quickly see just how serious the situation will be.
About 50 million people are in the potentially historic storm’s path.
Blizzard and winter storm warnings cover an area from Pennsylvania and New Jersey up through all of New York State and east through New England. And according to the Weather Service:
“As much as one to two feet of snow is forecast from the New York City metro area to Maine, with localized heavier amounts possible. This, in addition to wind gusts as high as 60-75 mph will create significant impacts to transportation and power.”
It’s probably no surprise that schools, government offices and businesses across the area are closed or closing early. Trying to get to the region today? Good luck. Airlines are canceling flights. Amtrak won’t be running north from New York City or south from Boston starting early Friday afternoon.
As WBUR reports, the simple advice from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is to stay home. Our colleagues at WNYC have a “complete guide to getting snowed in” for anyone looking for advice on such this as “essential snow day snacking.” At the Boston Globe‘s Weather Wisdom blog, meteorologist David Epstein suggests that “if you have last minute things you do want to get done try to be home by 3 PM this afternoon.”
Power outages, of course, are a major concern. The storm’s timing, though, is relatively fortunate. At least work crews will have a weekend, when commuters are off the roads, to get streets cleared and power lines reconnected.
Good luck to all those in the way of this storm. We’ll keep an eye on things and updated as warranted.