The East Coast could see heavy snow and strong winds from a winter storm transform into the region’s first “bomb cyclone” of the year, forecasting service AccuWeather said.

According to AccuWeather, the heaviest snowfall was expected to move into Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee overnight, with up to 3 inches of snow expected in Washington, D.C.

The combination of strong winds and heavy snow could cause a bomb cyclone, which occurs when the air pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours, often causing heavy precipitation and powerful winds, AccuWeather meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

“The storm is currently in the process of becoming a bomb cyclone and should be one by this evening south off Nova Scotia,” a maritime province in Canada, Roys said.

“Much of Nova Scotia will see the brunt of the bomb cyclone where blizzard conditions are expected tonight along with 12-18 inches of snow,” the meteorologist said.

For the northeast U.S., Roys said the main impact will be “heavy snow, largely from eastern Connecticut through down east Maine and some gusty winds,” with gusts up to 40 mph expected.

In Kentucky’s Hardin County, winter weather conditions were blamed for causing a more than 20- to 30-car pileup on Thursday, according to NBC affiliate WAVE of Louisville.

Only minor injuries were reported in the traffic incident, WAVE reported.

The Kentucky State police urged people in a tweet to “give yourself plenty of time and please slow down” on their morning commutes on Friday.

Travel ‘will be difficult’ for I-95 corridor

Roys also warned that travel “will be difficult for much of the (Interstate 95) corridor” on Friday from New York City on north.

In its daily forecast, the National Weather Service also warned that a combination of snow and ice could cause hazardous road conditions through Friday morning in the region.

It comes after a winter storm earlier this week left drivers stranded on the I-95 for nearly 30 hours in dropping temperatures and without food and water.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., was among those who were caught up in the chaos, with the senator stuck in traffic for 27 hours before making it to his office in Washington, D.C.

Reuters contributed.

Source: This post first appeared on NBC News

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