January 22, 2014 - 15:53 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. east coast has been hit by the second major winter storm of the year, with up to 12in (30cm) of snow, strong winds and bitter cold forecast, BBC News reports.
Even before the first flakes had fallen, U.S. government offices in Washington DC and schools in several states were closed preemptively.
As snow fell along major motorways along the U.S. east coast authorities warned of hazardous road conditions.
More than 3,000 flights have already been cancelled in the U.S. Another 800 flights were preemptively cancelled for Wednesday, Jan 22, and Amtrak began to cut back train services on Tuesday afternoon along its popular north-eastern route.
The storm comes two weeks after a weather pattern known as the polar vortex brought heavy snow and record low temperatures to the eastern half of the U.S.
Perilous conditions stretched for 1,000 miles (1,600km) from Kentucky to Massachusetts on Tuesday, slowing traffic and sparking winter storm warnings.
Washington DC is expected to see its heaviest snow fall in three years. The White House cancelled an afternoon press briefing and a meeting of President Barack Obama's commission on electoral administration. But the U.S. Supreme Court remained open to hear arguments.
Temperatures across the eastern U.S. are expected to be 10 to 25 degrees colder than average on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.
Gridlock was reported on New York City highways, with commuters reporting drive times of quadruple their normal duration.