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Winter storm hits New England, disrupts air traffic

By Melissa Le Fevre, CNN Meteorologist and Ralph Ellis, CNN
updated 12:47 AM EST, Sun December 15, 2013
Two geese paddle along the single remaining channel in a frozen pond in Norfolk, Massachusetts, on Sunday, December 15. A fast-moving winter storm dropped about 6 inches of snow on the area during the night before changing to rain in the early morning. A winter storm covered much of the Northeast, leaving a foot of snow on parts of New England. Two geese paddle along the single remaining channel in a frozen pond in Norfolk, Massachusetts, on Sunday, December 15. A fast-moving winter storm dropped about 6 inches of snow on the area during the night before changing to rain in the early morning. A winter storm covered much of the Northeast, leaving a foot of snow on parts of New England.
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Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
Winter storm covers Northeast
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A winter storm is affecting an area from Kansas to Maine
  • New: More than 1000 flights canceled on Saturday
  • Boston area could see 8 to 14 inches of snow
  • O'Hare Airport gets 3.9 inches of snow, Detroit 5.5 inches

(CNN) -- A blustery winter snowstorm swept into New England on Saturday night, creating hazardous highway conditions across the region and disrupting air traffic throughout the nation.

The snow started falling heavily Saturday night and was expected to continue into Sunday. When Bostonians wake up Sunday morning, they may find 8 to 14 inches of snow on the ground, with the same amount forecast north and west of the city and in New Hampshire. Areas south of Boston will see 3 to 6 inches.

The storm was so bad that Newark Liberty International canceled 168 outbound flights on Saturday and Chicago O'Hare, which was hit by snow earlier in the day, canceled 102, according to the website Flightaware.com.

At 9:30 p.m., the website reported that 1,003 airline flights had been canceled in the United States on Saturday; Boston Logan Airport has already canceled 35 Sunday flights.

1,000 mile-wide snowstorm hits East Coast

Highway traffic may be treacherous, with the problem compounded by high winds. CNN affiliate WCVB-TV reported that Massachusetts expects to use 10,000 tons of salt and 2,000 vehicles during the storm.

Frank DePaola of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation told CNN that speed limits on major roads had been lowered to 45 mph.

Football fans shouldn't feel sorry for the New England Patriots, however. They'll play in sunny Miami against the Dolphins on Sunday.

The eastward moving storm dropped snow earlier across the Midwest and western Pennsylvania, with 9 inches reported in Urbana, Illinois, and 3.9 inches at O'Hare Airport outside Chicago. Detroit reported 5.5 inches of snow, Cleveland 4.2, Toledo 5.7 and Pittsburgh 2.7.

Millions of people will experience the big chill as the system drops snow on an area of more than 1,000 miles.

FedEx said winter weather and high winds caused major disruptions at the company's Memphis hub that could delay shipments across the United States.

Chicago has already been hit hard. The snow that fell there Saturday afternoon was wet, making it heavy and difficult to shovel. Areas south of Chicago could see 4 to 6 inches of snow.

New Yorkers could see 3 to 5 inches of snow Saturday afternoon and evening, followed by sleet and freezing rain overnight.

The nation's capital will see a mix of rain, snow and sleet, and further to the south, the same system will bring cold and rain.

There was a slight risk of severe storms Saturday for parts of Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

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