Storm blankets US northeast

2015-02-02 21:08
Pedestrians cross the street through blowing snow near the Pennsylvania Turnpike. (Mike Groll, AP)

Pedestrians cross the street through blowing snow near the Pennsylvania Turnpike. (Mike Groll, AP)

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Boston - A winter storm is bringing its fury to the Northeast on Monday, causing the cancellation of flights, classes and major court cases a day after it dumped almost half a metre of snow on the Chicago area.

The weather system moved slowly eastward through into Pennsylvania, New York state and then into the northern region of New England. There residents were celebrating the New England Patriots football team's Super Bowl victory just days after digging out from a massive storm that brought almost a metre of snow to some areas.

More than 5 300 flights have been cancelled over Sunday and Monday due to the storm, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.

The snow storm was expected to deepen off the southern New England coast, bringing accumulations of up to 40cm to Boston.

In New York state, a winter storm warning is out for more than 20 counties.

The Philadelphia area received about 2.5cm of snow before the precipitation changed over to rain.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said residents should be ready for a snowy and icy commute. The city may get up to 10cm of snow and ice is possible.

Public officials throughout New England announced parking bans ahead of the storm so crews could keep the roads clear.

The snowstorm is delaying two of America's biggest court cases — the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and jury selection in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Proceedings were expected to resume Tuesday.

In Pennsylvania, the handlers of America's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said on Monday the animal has forecast six more weeks of winter. The annual tradition follows a German legend that says if a furry rodent sees his shadow on 2 February, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early.

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