Snowstorm slams Northeast after groundhog sees his shadow

Posted at 8:16 AM, Feb 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-03 10:16:11-05

By Holly Yan and Catherine E. Shoichet

(CNN) — If you believe that a groundhog with a funny name can predict the weather, get ready for another six weeks of winter conditions.

Punxsutawney Phil, the famed groundhog in Pennsylvania, saw his shadow Sunday, on Groundhog Day. And for at least the next few days, his wintry forecast will play out for much of the eastern U.S.

At least 6 inches of snow is expected to fall Monday on New York, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. With temperatures dipping below freezing Monday night, that’ll lead to an icy glaze over the city.

Philadelphia will also get pummeled with up to 10 inches of snow, Myers said. Schools there are closed Monday.

Slushy, wet snow was already falling in much of the area Monday morning.

The wintry weather snarled air travel just a day after the Super Bowl brought people from across the country to the Northeast.

By 9:30 a.m. Monday, more than 1,100 flights had been canceled within, into or out of the United States, according to tracking data.

The majority of the cancellations occurred at Philadelphia International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports.

Some hotels in the area were preparing for stranded Super Bowl spectators to stick around.

At Homewood Suites by Hilton in East Rutherford, New Jersey, about a mile and a half from the stadium where the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in Sunday’s Super Bowl, some guests had extended their stays Monday morning. Others checked out early because of the weather, General Manager Tom Martucci said.

As the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the region, local media warned commuters to watch out for icy roads.

“Here we snow again,” The Star-Ledger newspaper posted on its website.

Residents told CNN affiliate NY1 they were taking the snow and slush in stride.

“It’s a little surprising,” said one man who just moved to New York from California. “But hey, what can you do? Just roll with the punches.”

And it’s not just the Northeast bracing for winter weather.

In the Midwest, an ice storm and significant snow are expected to hit cities such as Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit between now and Wednesday.

Fortunately for those pining for spring, Punxsutawney Phil isn’t always right. According to an analysis by the National Climatic Data Center, Phil is actually wrong most of the time.

CNN’s Haimy Assefa, Stephanie Gallman, Steve Almasy and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

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