Winter storm system moving up East Coast for year's first workday

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A winter storm packing heavy snow was rolling into the District of Columbia, northern Virginia and central Maryland early Monday, bringing up to 10 inches of snow to the area through the afternoon.  The system was expected to continue up the East Coast.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area until 4 p.m. EST Monday. Wind gusts of up to 35 mph were forecast, and travel was expected to be very difficult because of the hazardous conditions, the weather service said.

“The timing of this isn't great,” said National Weather Service meteorologist David Roth. “For the D.C. area, it's morning rush hour. At least for places to the Northeast, it'll be closer to midday.”

The Weather Prediction Center said 2 inches of snow per hour could fall in some areas, and thunder snow was possible. Localized snowfall totals could reach 10 inches.

That was adding to delays for air travelers after the holiday weekend, when thousands of U.S. flights were cancelled or delayed due to the one-two punch of bad weather and the COVID-19 surge. 

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that federal offices in the D.C. area would be closed on Monday. Emergency employees and telework employees would continue to work, the OPM said on its website.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area from 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST Monday. Wind gusts of up to 35 mph were forecast and travel was expected to be very difficult because of the hazardous conditions, the weather service said.

CBS Washington affiliate WUSA-TV's Katie Kyros tweeted just before 5 a.m. that snow was “accumulating fast”:

The Weather Prediction Center said 2 inches of snow per hour could fall in some areas, and thunder snow was possible. Localized snowfall totals could reach 10 inches.

CBS Radio Washington affiliate WTOP News said the storm could bring the most snow the region has seen in three years. The station also said Maryland and Virginia closed COVID testing and vaccination sites Monday due to the weather.

Several school districts in the region said they would be closed, delayed or have virtual learning Monday. D.C. Public Schools said students and staff wouldn't be returning to school until Thursday.

Hundreds of school districts in the Mid-Atlantic region canceled or delayed classes for Monday.

And some 177,000 homes and businesses in Georgia were without power, according to PowerOutsge.us, along with approximately 103,000 in North Carolina, 96,000 in South Carolina and 40,000 in Tennessee. 

Snow began falling Sunday night in parts of Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. A winter storm warning was also in effect in parts of northern Alabama and southern Tennessee, and portions of Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.

Impacts from the winter storm were expected across the South, Appalachian states and into the mid-Atlantic, the weather service said.

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