Residents across a 1,500-mile swath of the U.S. are preparing for winter weather to bring snow, sleet, and icy conditions over the weekend. Meteorologists say the storm, dubbed Winter Storm Gia by The Weather Channel, could affect around 40 million people. Missouri and Illinois will likely receive the most snow — up to 12 inches in some areas — and mid-Atlantic cities like Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh will receive a dusting. "Winter weather advisories stretch from Colorado and northern New Mexico to West Virginia," explained The Weather Channel. "These areas should expect conditions that may lead to periodic travel delays, including blowing snow, falling snow and slick roadways." The storm is expected to move east by Sunday.

Scroll for 5 things you
need to know now