A powerful winter storm hit the U.S. East Coast on Monday with freezing rain, snow and arctic cold, forcing cancellation of about 2,250 flights, shutting down Washington and closing schools and local governments.
The latest of a series of weather systems to pummel the winter-weary eastern United States, the storm was expected to blanket the U.S. capital with up to 9 inches of snow as it swept from the Mississippi Valley to the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states, the National Weather Service said.
Brian Hurley, a weather service meteorologist, said temperatures would be about 30 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) below normal as a cold front gripped from the Great Plains to the Atlantic coast.
"It's really, really cold, temperatures dropping into the teens (Fahrenheit, minus-7 to minus-10 Celsius) and the normal highs are around 50 (10C) at this point," said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Although the snow is expected to bypass northern cities including New York and Boston, by early on Monday New York's temperature had already peaked at 23 F (-5 C), he said.