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article imageWinter storm slams East Coast with snow, rain and cold

By Nathan Salant     Feb 16, 2016 in Environment
New York - More than 1,000 flights from East Coast cities in the U.S. had to be cancelled Monday as a major winter storm moved into the region with snow, ice and high winds.
But freezing temperatures were expected to be only the opening act of the holiday weekend weather spectacular, as slick roads were sure to make driving dangerous on Tuesday with possible coastal flooding adding to the winter stresses.
The huge storm was expected to leave 5 inches of snow in Washington, D.C., and lesser amounts in New York, then turn to freezing rain and rain as temperatures rise to 40 and possibly 50 degrees.
"It could be pretty tricky for the morning commute on Tuesday," National Weather Service meteorologist Patrick Burke told the Reuters news service.
New York City's Emergency Management Department issued a travel advisory for Monday and Tuesday
But the frightful weather is only expected for a short time, as the new weather system pushes out the Arctic weather that had brought record-breaking cold and gusty winds to the region.
Temperature are expected to climb to the 50s in New York and Washington on Tuesday and remain unseasonably warm through the weekend.
"This system pushes the Arctic air out of here," Burke added.
Washington's normally busy streets were already empty due to the President's Day holiday, a situation exacerbated by a seemingly unending supply of heavy, wet snowflakes.
Neil Emery, 54, a tourist from the Bahamas, said he, his wife and daughter had been shocked by the bitter cold but were enjoying the snowfall.
"It's very Christmasy, really," he said.
The cold weather, Emery said, "is a good excuse for hot chocolates through the day."
In the southern edge of the cold storm, the heart of the southern U.S., Mississippi was hit by heavy rain and at least one tornado, which damaged a high school in Wesson, according to National Weather Service forecaster Anna Wolverton.
Tornado watches were in place in Alabama and Louisiana as heavy rains also drenched Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
The vast storm stretched to western parts of Pennsylvania and New York, where Buffalo was expected to get more than a foot of snow.
New England ski resorts that have been struggling through a relatively warm and snowless winter were expected to see as much as 5 inches of the white stuff, Burke said.
More about East coast, Winter, Storm, Freezing, Rain
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