A major winter storm will bring heavy snow to Chicago on Saturday before rolling toward Washington and New York, where the flakes could start piling up Sunday.
Chicago could be digging out from under as much as 10 inches by Sunday as the snow is just getting under way along the East Coast. At least six inches could fall across a wide area including Washington, Philadelphia and New York, said Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Areas in the Northeast Corridor will likely see even more than that, as heavier bands fall west of the storm’s center.
“It looks like it could be a pretty good storm,” Oravec said. “There is definitely going to be some heavy snows from this event.”
Winter storm warnings and weather advisories stretch from North Dakota to Virginia and North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.
Winter has been missing for the most part in the Northeast so far this year.
In New York, Manhattan’s Central Park has had above-normal temperatures for most of the season and has received 10.6 inches of snow to date, 1 inch below normal. Almost all of that came from a single December storm. By contrast, parts of California have seen heavy snow.
Storms hobbling Chicago and New York-area airports can lead to major delays and cancellations across the U.S. As of 9:08 a.m., 108 flights in or out of Chicago’s two airports had been canceled for Sunday, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking service. Winter weather can also snarl road and rail traffic and cause power outages.
Snow should start in the nation’s capital early Sunday, later in the day in New York, and continue through the night, Oravec said. Snow will start in Boston on Monday, where as much as 10 inches could fall, with suburban areas getting a foot or more, according to the weather service.