(MENAFN -Arab News) PHILADELPHIA/WASHINGTON: The US government shut itself down Tuesday as a winter storm bears down on the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern US
The National Weather Service says the winter storm could bring 10 inches of snow to Philadelphia and New York on Tuesday and bitterly cold air with wind chills as low as 10 degrees below zero later in the day
A major snowstorm bearing down on the northeastern United States threatened to dump as much as 10 inches (25 cms) on Washington by day’s end
Civil servants expecting to return to work after a bright and balmy Martin Luther King holiday Monday woke up to be told by the federal Office of Personnel Management to stay home
It warned of heavy winds and hazardous driving conditions throughout the day as the storm moves up the East Coast
The federal government says its offices in the Washington area will be closed Tuesday because of the storm. The weather service warns the storm could impact the morning commute in Washington and Baltimore
In New York, a storm alert was issue for noon (1700 GMT) Tuesday to 6:00 a.m. (1100 GMT) Wednesday with as much as a foot (30 cm) forecast for the metropolitan region
Temperatures were set to fall below normal, to as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 12 Celsius) with winds gusting to 56 km per hour
Dozens of schools either closed for the day or told parents to expect their youngsters to be dismissed from class earlier than usual
Enough snow was expected to fall on the US capital to turn the evening rush hour into a Beltway traffic nightmare, as the storm churns its way into New York and the northeastern New England states
“The greatest totals are likely for southern New England, and gusty winds are likely in this area to accompany the snow,” the National Weather Service said
“It will be a winter wonderland for these areas.
The Washington Post’s popular Capital Weather Gang blog forecast up to 10 inches of snow in the capital ahead of sub-freezing temperatures for the rest of the week
Many schools closed for the day, as did the National Zoo, giving its star attraction, baby panda Bao Bao, the day off just three days after going on public view for the first time
Smithsonian museums opened their doors, however, as long as the weather permitted.