Winter Storm To Blast Eastern U.S. With Up to 12 Inches of Snow

A winter storm will bring heavy snow to Washington, D.C. and the mid-Atlantic region on Monday.

The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) said the first significant snowfall of the season is expected across the South, Appalachian states, in the mid-Atlantic and up the East Coast.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning for Washington, D.C. until 4 p.m. ET on Monday. A winter storm warning was also issued for parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.

The storm's approach prompted the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in Washington to announce 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.

DC Public Schools said schools would be closed on Monday due to inclement weather. Students and staff will return to schools on Thursday.

The WPC said snowfall totals are expected to reach eight inches across the Southern Appalachians and parts of the mid-Atlantic, and that some places could see snowfall of up to 12 inches.

The forecast also predicted "very intense" snowfall rates on Monday morning, where up to two inches of snow per hour could fall in some areas, and said thunder snow was also likely.

It also cautioned people to take care when traveling, warning that the storm would lead to significant disruptions and dangerous driving conditions.

"Rapidly deteriorating road conditions and severely reduced visibility should be expected," the center said on Monday.

"The heavy wet snow will accumulate on trees and power lines and combined with gusty winds, scattered power outages are possible. Very cold temperatures tonight may allow untreated roads to re-freeze, producing additional dangerous travel even after the snow has ended."

Early Monday, an NWS office in South Carolina said high wind gusts had starting knocking out power and trees in the state. As of 6:15 a.m. local time, there were more than 125,000 power outages across the state, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

Meanwhile, warnings and advisories are also in effect in the Northwest with a separate storm expected to bring rain and heavy snow to the region over the next few days.

"The first system will spread rain across the low elevations of the Pacific Northwest and northern California over the next couple of days," the NWS said.

"The heaviest rainfall is likely to occur over central and southwestern Oregon down into northwestern California where between 3-6 inches may fall. Heavy snow is forecast to impact the Cascades as well, where between 2-4 feet of snow is expected over the next couple of days. The second system will spread snow into the Northern Rockies and northern Sierra by Tuesday, where several inches to over a foot is possible."

White fog rises over the Potomac river
White fog rises over the Potomac river seen on Memorial bridge between Washington DC and Arlington Virginia on January 1, 2021. Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images