Northeastern US braces for 'historic blizzard'

Washington: Residents of the states of the northeastern US were preparing for what meteorologists said would be a "historic blizzard" that would affect the region from Monday onward.

Weather authorities have issued a blizzard warning for Philadephia, Pennsylvania and the east coast including New York, New Jersey and New England, as well as Canada, from Monday afternoon till Tuesday.

US snowstorm
Vehicles are seen driving along a street in New York during a snow storm on January 26. Thousands of flights were canceled as millions of Americans in the Northeast braced for a winter storm that New York's mayor warned could be one of the biggest blizzards in history. Pics: AFP

"It's a winter storm that could have historical proportions," The Weather Channel reported Sunday.

Airlines such as American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and US Airways rescheduled flight itineraries and announced cancellations due to the weather forecasts, allowing passengers travelling to the northeast to change their flights free of charge.

The storm is expected to affect the major airports in Boston, Philadelphia, JFK Airport and LaGuardia in New York, and Newark Airport in New Jersey, among many others.

Meteorologists forecast heavy snowfall accompanied by strong winds of between 50 and 65 kph, which could lead to traffic disruptions.

US snowstorm
People walking on the snow filled streets of New York.

The National Weather Service forecasted snow accumulation of up to half a metre for New York and up to a metre for some parts of New Jersey.

According to the service, some areas of southern New England could see up to 60 cm of snow.

Southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland are expected to have snowfall of between 10 and 20 cm.

Meanwhile, Washington, the country's capital, is also expected to be affected by the storm.

US snowstorm
A woman walks during a snow storm in New York's Times Square on January 26.

Boston's Mayor, Martin Walsh, has made an appeal to citizens to look out for the elderly and the homeless to help them if need be. Coastal regions from New York to Boston are bracing for a massive snowstorm that could bring up to two feet (60 centimeters) of snow.

National Weather Service meteorologists say the storm will start edging into the region overnight then turn up the coast. In New York City, the massive storm is expected to leave up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow by Tuesday, followed by 8 inches (20 centimeters) or so more before Wednesday.

Farther north, a blizzard watch is in effect for Boston from tomorrow night through early Wednesday. Wind gusts of 60 mph (96.5 kph) or more are possible. A foot (30 centimeters) of snow is possible in the Philadelphia area by Tuesday afternoon.

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