Storm packing heavy snow bears down on U.S. Midwest, Northeast

NEW YORK Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:10am EST

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NEW YORK Dec 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Midwest and East Coast braced for another round of wintry weather on Saturday as a massive storm spanning more than 1,000 miles (2,540 km) promised heavy snow, slick roads and travel delays.

Even before snow began piling up, airlines reported weather-related delays and cancellations, with major airports in Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Newark, New Jersey scrubbing dozens of flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and FlightStats.com.

The fast-moving snow storm will hit states from Missouri to Maine, with southeastern states drenched by steady rainfall.

The storm will "produce a pretty good swath of snow over about a 24 hour period," said Brian Korty, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The heaviest accumulation was expected in central Pennsylvania, New York state and interior New England, which could see between 4 and 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) of snow. Mountainous areas and parts of eastern Maine could be walloped by a foot (30.5 cm) of snow.

More than 110 million people across the Midwest and along the East Coast will be affected, said AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

"Snow will fall on and impact every major city and rural area from St. Louis to Boston, including Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City," he said.

The same region was slammed a week ago by another massive storm system that left parts of the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast shoveling out from a half-foot (15 cm) of snow.

Utility companies across the region put extra crews on duty and made preparations for possible outages.

New York City's Sanitation Department for a second Saturday issued a snow alert and prepared plows and salt spreaders to clear snowy, icy roads.

The brunt of bad weather will hit through Saturday with the system moving out of the area by Sunday, AccuWeather said. Slushy conditions on Sunday could freeze in cold evening temperatures.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Vicki Allen)

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