Strong storms in the Southeast spawned tornadoes that touched down in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday and early Wednesday, damaging or destroying dozens of homes and at least one church, as well as a prison. No fatalities or major injuries were reported.
The “major storm” bearing down on Washington, D.C., “has life and death implications, and all the residents of the District of Columbia should treat it that way,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
She said that the snow would arrive earlier than expected, with the first flakes now anticipated around 1 to 3 p.m. Friday ET.
The nation’s capital, though, is not alone in expecting blizzard conditions. The National Weather Service has extended its blizzard warning to include New York City and Philadelphia.
All flights to and from Philadelphia International Airport will be canceled Saturday, an airport spokeswoman said.
More than 5,000 U.S. flights have been called off Friday and Saturday due to the storm. (Flights Canceled)
The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Alex, making it the first Atlantic hurricane to form in January since 1938.
Warnings have been issued for the Azores, where the storm’s impact will be felt as early as today.