A massive winter storm system packing cold air, snow and
freezing rain was pummeling the central United States today
and headed for the East Coast, sending temperatures
plummeting and causing major delays for weekend travellers.
Rainfall and snow associated with the system will stretch
over 2414km, stretching from southeastern Colorado to
southern Massachusetts, meteorologists said.
The storm "is going to be a real mess," said Bruce Sullivan,
a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in
Silver Spring, Maryland.
"The main system is injecting a lot of moisture and cold air
out over the Southern Plains," he said. "It's going to bring
quite a bit of precipitation."
Up to 30cm of snow could fall on an area from eastern Kansas
to Pennsylvania before the system dissipates tomorrow.
More than 1,300 flights were cancelled and another 1,744 were
delayed as of late Sunday morning, according to the airline
tracking site FlightAware.com.
"Ripple-effect flight delays and cancellations are likely to
reach nationwide," said AccuWeather meteorologist Alex
The storm could also further deplete salt supplies used to
ice roads and highways, already at critical lows after a
snowy winter in the Northeast.