Tuesday, September 21

More than 45 million people are under a winter storm watch

(CNN) — More than 45 million Americans are under a winter storm watch as a powerful northeast hits the east coast.

The storm is forecast to hit most of the east coast Wednesday through Thursday, bringing heavy snow and ice that could cause power outages across the region.

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Boston and New York could receive up to 12 inches of snow, while parts of the tri-state area could see up to 16 inches.

“There is a lot of confidence that this winter storm will have significant impacts, including travel disruptions and power outages, across much of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England,” said the Weather Forecast Center.

This winter storm could also bring wind gusts of up to 40 mph that could hit the New England coast, according to the National Weather Service in Boston.

Path of the winter storm

The storm system will roll out of the Rocky Mountains through Tuesday, bringing snow to the southern plains before encountering colder air further east.

Freezing rain will fall along Interstate 80 and into the Virginia mountains, with possible ice buildup in Roanoke, Charlottesville, west of Beckley, West Virginia.

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A mix of rainfall will spread from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, with heavy snowfall across the tri-state area and New England, maps from the Weather Prediction Center show.

Lighter snow accumulations are expected from Indiana to New Hampshire on Wednesday, the center said.

Strong wind conditions will also be a concern. In some areas, especially along the coast, there will be blizzard conditions. Sustained winds of 40 to 56 km are possible, with gusts of up to 72 km / h at times.

Carriers have contingency plans for vaccine distribution

The weather could make travel very difficult or even impossible in some areas, the National Weather Service said.

While the storm is not expected to have a major impact on the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, carriers have made contingency plans to account for weather issues.

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The winter snowstorm will hit parts of the mid-Atlantic to New England beginning Wednesday, when delivery drivers are scheduled to make 66 deliveries across the country. Later in the week, other vaccines will be shipped in Pfizer distribution boxes that require dry ice.

FedEx does not expect any “significant impact” on service, company spokeswoman Shannon Davis wrote in an email on Monday, adding that they will continue to monitor the forecast.

“We have a team of 15 meteorologists who monitor conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we have contingency plans in case we see severe conditions,” he said.

UPS, which has an internal team that monitors the weather, did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Operation Warp Speed ​​General Gustave Perna told reporters Monday that his group makes plans that include contemplating many different problems, with the worst case being a delivery vehicle or plane crash. Bad weather falls in the middle of the trouble spectrum, he said.

Some doses will be kept in a “safety reserve” in case a problem arises.

CNN’s Steve Almasy, Judson Jones, Melissa Nord and Taylor Ward contributed to this report.


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