The National Weather Service forecasts 4 to 8 inches during the day Friday, another 11 to 17 inches Friday night, and 3 to 5 inches more on Saturday.
Add that up, it comes to 30 inches on the high end.
The weather service bulletin states, "Widespread storm total accumulations of 20 to 30 inches, with some locations in excess of 30 inches. Snow will continue through Saturday evening. Conditions will deteriorate rapidly late this afternoon (Friday Feb. 5) with the heaviest snowfall occurring from sunset through Saturday morning. The most hazardous conditions will occur tonight.
"This extremely dangerous storm is expected to produce record snowfall for the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas. Travel conditions tonight across the region will be extremely hazardous and life-threatening. Help your local and state government first responders and transportation agencies by staying off the roads," the NWS statement said.
Baltimore-Washington International has canceled hundreds of flights, throwing the nation's air travel arrangements into disarray.
Virginia has declared a state of emergency because of the heavy snowfall there.
Motorists in Washington, D.C. where snowfall is generally measured by the scant inch if at all, rather than in feet, also are impacted by horrific driving conditions.
Meanwhile resorts across the Mid Atlantic region are joyful, and skiers and snowboarders are rhapsodic.
Lori Epp at Wisp Resort in Maryland said, "Snow. Lots of it and loving it. It started flurrying at about 7:30 this morning (Friday, Feb. 5) and by 9 a.m. it was heavy snowfall. As of 3 p.m., Wisp Resort has received over 5 inches of snow and it's still falling. As our Director of Mountain Operations, Artie Speicher, said a few minutes ago, "It's snowing like hell, get out and ski'." Epp said another 2 feet of snow is forecast from the storm through tomorrow.
Epp encouraged visitors to head for Wisp, but to drive slowly and cautiously, and to allow plenty of time for the trip.
Scott Bender at Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort in Pennsylvania said, " It started snowing at 9 a.m. here this morning, even though it was forecasted to start around noon. The higher elevations, in the Laurel Highlands where we are, are to get up to 18 inches by the time it is supposed to end, which is 6 p.m. tomorrow. The heaviest snowfall is to occur this evening and overnight. Phones haven't stopped ringing and happy to say we are at 100 percent occupancy with all lodging options, here, for tonight and tomorrow night.
"The interesting part is our marketing guy and golf pro left this morning for the Washington D.C. Golf Show. We only hope people can get there," Bender said.
Kim Jochl at Sugar Mountain Resort in North Carolina said, "Winter has been here all season long. It's been awesome. Lots of natural snow, fantastic slope conditions. I've even been out snowboarding several times. We had heavy snow last night (Thursday, Feb. 4) and today about 7 inches on top of snow left over from previous storms. Unfortunately it turned to sleet and rain but is expected to turn back over to snow later today (Friday, Feb. 5). Another winter weather system is expected Tuesday. We've had snow on the side of the roads and in the woods most of the season. Not typical here in NC. Needless to say awesome for those of us who love snow and winter."