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Major winter storm could develop into bomb cyclone, slamming Northeast with hurricane-force winds and heavy snow this weekend

Northeast braces for blizzard conditions
Northeast braces for blizzard conditions 01:19

A major winter storm with the potential for hurricane-force winds and heavy snow is threatening to slam the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic this weekend. The quickly-intensifying winter storm could develop into a Nor'easter, and possibly a bomb cyclone, according to AccuWeather

"A winter storm is likely to create significant impacts across New England Friday night through Sunday," the National Weather Service said Thursday. "Notable impacts may also extend south along the East Coast through North Carolina."

The heaviest snow is anticipated in New England, although snowfall is also possible in metro areas further south, including New York City and Washington, D.C., the weather agency said. Eastern Massachusetts, Long Island, Rhode Island and Cape Cod may be in for more than 20 inches of snow as the storm moves across the region this weekend. Meanwhile, parts of Connecticut could see up to 12 inches of snow, and the New York City area could see 6 inches or more.

Coastal northeastern cities could also be in for strong hurricane-force wind gusts and subzero wind chills this weekend, according to Accuweather and the NWS. The weather service says the cold temperatures "could be potentially hazardous for areas that experience power outages."

The NWS has issued winter storm watches throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and Illinois.

But the NWS warns of potentially significant changes to the storm's anticipated track — and impact — as meteorologists weigh two different forecast models. 

"There continues to be greater than usual forecast uncertainty with the track of this storm, and the axis of heaviest snowfall may shift in subsequent forecast updates," the NWS said

In Virginia, Governor Glenn Youngkin has declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm system, and New York Governor Kathy Hochul has urged residents to prepare for potentially dangerous conditions.

"Heavy wet snow along with high winds are predicted which poses a threat for downed trees, electrical outages, and major impacts to travel. In addition, there is also the threat of tidal flooding," the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said Thursday in a news release

The NWS urged those in the storm's potential path to monitor forecast updates, be ready for potential scattered power outages, purchase snow shovels and fill up car gas tanks ahead of time. 

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