First blizzard of 2016 forecast to hit Northeast this weekend

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather alert for the Washington area for Wednesday night.

Accuweather noted that some 50 million people could be impacted by the storm.

When? The strongest winds and potentially life-threatening conditions are expected Friday night through Saturday night.

"It's not out of the question that some localized areas receive over 2 feet of fresh snow", CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.

"Crews may not be able to keep up with the storm in portions of Virginia, West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania and northern DE and Maryland", AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity said.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said, "If this is a blizzard and we have sustained winds and people lose power and it is cold over a sustained period of time, that would be my biggest concern".

"That will create blizzard conditions, as well as coastal storm surge, erosion and flooding", Ward said.

The main snowfall is expected to come in late Friday afternoon, right around the rush hour, Mr. Edwards said. The watches start as early as today and stretch into Saturday.

Here's what to expect from this potential historic storm.

If the storm moves more slowly and shifts to the south, areas such as New York City could be spared the heaviest snowfall totals.

We will make it above freezing on Sunday and Monday.

At 3:28 p.m. Wednesday the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for Jackson, White, Woodruff, Lonoke, Prairie, Monroe, Jefferson, Arkansas, Lincoln, Desha and Drew counties, effective from Thursday evening through Friday morning.

"We were out this morning (Wednesday) because there was a little ice so we put some material on some of the bridges and overpasses in the county and in the city", Jefferson County Judge Dutch King said. "Once it stops snowing, anything is good".