The major snowstorm aiming at Washington, D.C., and Baltimore will evolve into a blizzard and could rank among the biggest snowfalls on record, should the storm develop to its full potential.
While not impossible, the odds are against a record-breaking storm total snowfall.
From 1 to 2 feet of snow is projected to fall in the metro areas of the two cities, with the greatest amounts likely to be skewed to the west.
Should the storm alter its path or linger long enough, the current forecast amounts could be conservative with more snow possible farther to the east and north.
A mere 15 inches of snow in Washington, D.C., would put the storm this weekend at number eight for total snowfall over a three-day period. For there to be a top 10 snowfall, 14.4 inches will have to fall.
If 18 inches of snow fall in Washington, D.C., then it would eclipse the "Blizzard of 1996" and the "Snowmageddon Storm" of Feb. 5-6, 2010.
The greatest snowfall for a single-day in Washington, D.C., was 21.0 inches on Jan. 28, 1922, during the "Knickerbocker Storm."
In Baltimore, at least 18.0 inches of snow will have to fall to rank in the top 10 biggest storms.
If 18 inches of snow falls on Baltimore, then it would tie the top 10 storm from Dec. 18-19, 2009.
The greatest snowfall for a single-day in Baltimore was 23.3 inches on Jan. 28, 1922.
Snowfall records date back to 1884 at Washington, D.C., and 1892 at Baltimore.
Record-breaking or not, the weekend blizzard will prove to be very disruptive over a broad area of the mid-Atlantic and perhaps part of southern New England as well.
Other cities where the storm has the potential to overachieve include Philadelphia and New York City. A shift northward in the storm track by as little as 50 to 100 miles can swing excessive snowfall farther up the Atlantic coast.