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Major Snowstorm to Slam Russia and Central, Eastern Europe

A major winter storm was organizing Thursday over southeastern Europe.

Residents from the western Balkan Peninsula to the Russian heartland were bracing for heavy, even crippling snowfall beginning Thursday night and continuing into Friday.

The capital cities of Sarajevo, Budapest to Minsk and Moscow were all in line for a major, potentially historic snowfall, given the mid-March timing.

The worst of the snow, potentially up to two feet, will spread northeastward from the Carpathian mountains in northwestern Ukraine into southeastern Poland, much of Belarus and a swathe of snow through western and northern Russia.

A high rate of snowfall, potentially 2-3 inches per hour, as well as strong winds, blowing and drifting snow will make this a dangerous debilitating storm-- even a blizzard."

Thursday, wet snow and rain were falling along much of the expected storm path. The path was pegged to track from the Adriatic Sea on Thursday to northern Ukraine on Friday then weaken over northeastern Russia on Saturday.

By Jim Andrews, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist