Snowfall hitting the Appalachians, Mid-Atlantic could drop up to a foot in some areas
Millions of people in the Eastern United States awoke to snow — or the prospect of snow — on the first Monday of the new year.
A major winter storm is bringing 4-8 inches of snow to the Southern Appalachians, Washington, D.C., and eventually up to New Jersey later in the day, according to the National Weather Service. As much as a foot of snow is possible in some areas.
Officials said the heaviest snowfall, including thundersnow, was expected as rain changes over to frozen precipitation Monday morning, complicating the morning rush hour.
Federal buildings were closed on Monday in the Washington, D.C., area, which was also under a local snow emergency. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency for five counties in the southern part of the state.
Rain and thunderstorms from Florida to the Carolinas, with the possibility for damaging winds and even tornadoes, were also in the forecast as part of the major storm system.
The NWS said power outages would be likely as a result of heavy snow accumulating on power lines, and they were already mounting as of midday Monday. There were more than 150,000 customers in North Carolina without electricity and another 395,000 Virginia customers with no power, according to the website PowerOutage.US.
Georgia, South Carolina and Maryland all had more than 60,000 outages, the website reported.
Some 2,400 U.S. flights were canceled on Monday, the website FlightAware said. That included around 500 flights at Washington's Reagan National Airport that had either been canceled or delayed.
A version of this story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog
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