Washington DC, New York and other East Coast cities readied fleets of snow plows and airlines cancelled flights ahead of a winter storm expected to dump up to 30 inches (76 cm) of snow. At least five states had declared emergencies by Thursday afternoon, as the season’s first major Atlantic Coast storm started to move over the Mid-South before moving on an expected north and eastward course. Blizzard warnings were out in the nation’s capital and Baltimore, with extreme conditions expected to begin on Friday afternoon, while New York City was under a blizzard watch for Saturday morning. Airlines began cancelling Friday and Saturday flights, with most of the 951 cancellations for Friday at Washington and North Carolina airports.
American Airlines scrapped all Friday flights into North Carolina’s Charlotte Douglas Airport. Delta Air Lines cancelled about 120 flights in the Southeast region. American scrapped most Saturday flights into Washington, New York and Philadelphia area airports, and Delta was poised to cancel many of the same. The National Weather Service put Washington and Baltimore under blizzard warnings from 3 pm Eastern on Friday until Sunday morning. It forecast up to 2 feet (61 cm) of snow in the capital, 30 inches (75 cm) in western suburbs, with winds gusting to 50 miles per hour (80 km per hour). The storm was expected to deliver a slightly weaker wallop to the New York and Long Island areas with blizzard conditions between Saturday morning and Sunday.