(ABC News) — As a weekend snowstorm looms over Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York, here’s everything people on the East Coast need to know before it hits.
Expected Snow Totals
– Washington, D.C.: In D.C. about 18 to 24 inches of snow is expected. If D.C. gets more than 20 inches of snow, this will be the biggest snowstorm since the blizzard of 1922 that left D.C. with 28 inches of powder.
– Philadelphia: Philadelphia is expected to get 15 to 20 inches of snow.
– Central NJ: Parts of central New Jersey could see up to 18 inches.
– New York City: In New York City, 12 to 18 inches of snow is likely.
Winter Weather Warnings/Advisories
Twenty-two states, from Louisiana to Massachusetts, will be impacted by the storm.
A blizzard watch is in effect for Washington; Baltimore, Maryland; Wilmington, Delaware; Philadelphia; Trenton, N.J.; Newark, N.J.; New York City; and Long Island.
Around 7 p.m. tonight, snow will start falling in Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C.
Washington will be under a blizzard warning from 3 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Sunday.
In Philadelphia, the blizzard warning beings at 7 p.m. today to 10 a.m. Sunday.
Snowfall is expected in the New York City area between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. The storm will pick up in intensity by early Saturday morning.
The New York City blizzard warning lasts from 6 a.m. Saturday to 1 p.m. Sunday.
A Potentially Deadly Storm for D.C.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said this morning that residents need to treat the storm as a life and death weather event.
“We’ve had a forecast we haven’t seen in 90 years,” Bowser said at a news conference. “It has life and death implications.”
The mayor warned of high winds and potential power outages from trees taking down electrical lines.
“Our chief concern is making sure Washingtonians are safe throughout this event,” Bowser said, adding that “people need to stay inside” and not risk going out in the storm.
The city is asking residents to be prepared to stay indoors for 72 hours. Residents are also being asked to stay off the roads and stock up on food, water, battery operated radios and flashlights in case of power outages.
Problems in the South and on the Coast
As the storm moves east this afternoon, heavy ice accumulation could cripple places like Charlotte, North Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Greenville, South Carolina.
Then this evening, the storm will bear down on the East Coast, from Virginia to New Jersey.
A coastal flood warning was issued for Delaware, New Jersey and the southern coast of Long Island.
Wind gusts could top 60 miles per hour this evening.
The worst coastal flooding and erosion will be in southern New Jersey, where some areas could see record flood levels.
A Winter Weather Emergency in NYC
A winter weather emergency will be in effect in New York City, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and lasting until Saturday night at midnight, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
The mayor said he might extend the emergency depending on conditions.
A winter weather emergency means any unnecessary driving should be avoided, he said.
“Unless it is urgent – stay off the roads,” de Blasio said.
The mayor clarified that this is not a travel ban, which was instituted last winter during a snowstorm.
“This is less intense but still very, very serious,” he warned.
“Stay off the roads tomorrow,” he said. “If your vehicles are blocking the work of our snow plows, your vehicles will be towed.”
Besides the heavy snow and strong winds, de Blasio said the city can expect whiteout conditions.
The brunt of the storm is expected to happen between 8 a.m. and mid-afternoon Saturday, but could continue Sunday morning, he said. About 12 to 18 inches is expected, the mayor said.
A coastal flood warning is also in effect in New York City.
There have been more than 2,900 flight cancellations, according to FlightAware.com.
The Philadelphia airport has cancelled all flights for Saturday.
Fatalities in North Carolina
Four weather-related deaths have been reported in North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory said today. Officials are urging residents to stay home.
There are about 6,000 power outages across the state, McCrory said.
FEMA is on the ground and 100 North Carolina National Guardsmen have been mobilized.
ABC News’ Max Golembo and Margaret Chadbourn contributed to this report.