US east coast prepares for ‘historic storm’ over the weekend

More than 3,000 flights have been cancelled and residents of several states told to stay home due to chances of coastal flooding, power outages and low visibility

A file photo of a nor'easter off the east coast of US.

Governors of several states in eastern US have declared states of emergency as weather forecasters warned of nor’easter churning (storms) along the East Coast on Saturday (January 29) and Sunday (January 30).

The country’s National Weather Service warned on Friday (January 28) of a “historic major winter storm for eastern New England with widespread snowfall of one to two feet.” The Weather Prediction Center too has issued advisories forecasting extremely cold temperatures and coastal flooding. More than 3,000 flights had been cancelled as of Friday night, say media reports.

Residents of states from Mid-Atlantic to New England have been told to stay home as the weathermen warned of coastal flooding and possible power outages due to heavy snow and fierce winds as strong as 70 miles per hour in some states.

Also read: What it means if it will rain, not snow in the Arctic?


Nor’easters are large, intense areas of low pressure that generally develop off the East Coast of US during the late fall, winter and early spring.

Scientists believe this slow pressure could develop into “historic storm” and affect over 55 million Americans.

Media reports in the US say snow between 2 to 6 inches had fallen early Saturday in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions and forecasters from the NWS Weather Prediction Center expect about 12 inches of snow in the Mid-Atlantic Coast through eastern New England. The Boston area could face up to 2 feet snow falling at the rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour at some places. Parts of New Hampshire, Maine, Long Island and New York are likely to face 12 to 24 inches of snow.

Besides Nor’easters warning, forecasters said it could be accompanied by Blizzard (any heavy snowstorm accompanied by strong winds). Travel and driving would become difficult because in a blizzard, snow is accompanied by winds that travel at a speed of over 35 mph for more than three hours, affecting visibility significantly.

Blizzard warnings were issued for 10 states with areas like Portland, Maine; Boston and Cape Cod, Massachusetts; the eastern half of New York’s Long Island; Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Ocean City, Maryland likely to bear the impact.