#Blizzard2016: Big-ass winter storm hits East Coast with big snow predicted

People buy seafood at the Wharf as snow begins to fall in DC, Jan 22 2016. REUTERS People buy seafood at the Wharf as snow begins to fall in DC, Jan 22 2016. REUTERS

Washington, D.C., and New York City are under blizzard watches, and states of emergency have been declared in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina ahead of a blustery winter storm now slamming the U.S. East Coast with snow.

A large winter storm expected to bring heavy snowfall to the U.S. Mid-Atlantic on Jan. 22 and 23 in a Jan. 20, 2016 NASA photo.

A large winter storm expected to bring heavy snowfall to the U.S. Mid-Atlantic on Jan. 22 and 23 in a Jan. 20, 2016 NASA photo.

The storm threatens to dump nearly 3 feet of snow on the Middle Atlantic region, and slammed into Washington, D.C. this afternoon, threatening our nation's capital with record accumulations. The storm is now moving up the East Coast and causing all sorts of problems in New York, and throughout the region.

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Secret Service officer stands in snow outside the White House,  Jan. 22, 2016.  REUTERS

Secret Service officer stands in snow outside the White House, Jan. 22, 2016. REUTERS

The blizzard started blanketing the DC area around 1pm ET, following days of public warnings and planning by emergency officials. Don't even bother looking for bread, milk, and eggs, you guys. They're all gone.

Grand Central Parkway near New York's Laguardia Airport, Jan. 22, 2016. REUTERS

Grand Central Parkway near New York's Laguardia Airport, Jan. 22, 2016. REUTERS

From Reuters:

The storm, expected to end late on Saturday afternoon, could leave 2 to 2.5 feet (61 to 76 cm) on the ground and bring winds of 30 to 50 mph (48 to 80 kph), according to the National Weather Service. The western

suburbs of the capital were expecting up to 3 feet, leading the Virginia National Guard to bring in up to 300 troops to deal with emergencies. In New York, 600 National Guard personnel were on standby.

"I want to be very clear with everybody. This is a major storm," Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said as the city braced for what could turn out to be one of the worst storms in its history. "This has life-and-death implications and all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way."

People cross a street as it snows in DC, Jan. 20, 2016. REUTERS

People cross a street as it snows in DC, Jan. 20, 2016. REUTERS