John Bacon and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
It may not technically be winter yet, but don't tell that to the 50 million Americans in the northeastern U.S. who were saying hello Tuesday to another winter storm that was snarling commutes and travel schedules.
Heavy snow fell through the morning in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. Due to the snow, the federal government shut its doors in the nation's capital for the day.
As of early afternoon, the storm was over in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City, though winter storm advisories remained in place in southern New England.
The storm brought an average of 3 inches to most spots, but a few locations received up to half a foot. So far, the highest snow reports Tuesday morning, by state, were: 6.5 inches in Red Lion, Pa.; 6 inches in Manchester, Md.; 5 inches in Cross Junction, Va.; and 4.8 inches in Bunker Hill, W.Va., according to AccuWeather meteorologist Jesse Ferrell.
Airports and airlines were still scrambling. More than 1,300 flights had been canceled nationwide as of 11:30 a.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.
At Newark Liberty, more than 260 flights (combined departures and arrivals) had been canceled as of 9 a.m. ET. More than 200 cancellations were being reported at a number of other busy airports in the region, including New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia and Washington Reagan National. Washington Dulles had about 90 cancellations, a number that was likely to grow as snow remained in the forecast there through early afternoon.
This storm was bad news for air travelers following a dreadful day Monday, when 1,900 flights were canceled and 8,100 more delayed, according to FlightStats.
The winter storms are being fueled in part by an Arctic blast of frigid air that froze highways in the middle of the country over the weekend. Frigid temperatures remained in place Monday for most of the north-central U.S., with many locations at or near 0 degrees. Minot, N.D., reached 5 degrees Monday afternoon, the city's first above-zero reading since last Wednesday.
Nationally, the USA is seeing an unusually snowy December: In all, 66.9% of the USA was snow covered as of Monday, according to data from the National Weather Service. That percentage was the highest for the date in at least the past 10 years.