A second major winter storm will hit the East Coast with up to 12in of snow, blowing wind and bitter cold forecast.
Even before the first flakes had fallen, the government offices in Washington DC and schools in several states were closed pre-emptively.
In New York, snow began falling during the morning commute, and authorities warn of hazardous road conditions.
And more than 2,500 flights have already been cancelled.
The storm comes just two weeks after a weather pattern known as the polar vortex brought heavy snow and record low temperatures to the eastern half of the US.
Winter storm warnings have been declared from West Virginia to Boston, with some of the heaviest accumulations threatened along the coastal cities.
Washington DC is expected to see its heaviest snow fall in three years, and temperatures across the eastern US are expected to be 10 to 25 degrees colder than average on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
As the snow began falling in Washington DC, the White House cancelled its daily press briefing and a meeting of President Barack Obama’s commission on electoral administration.
The weather has also affected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s second inauguration. Organizers have cancelled the party scheduled for Tuesday night on Ellis Island in New York Harbor.
[youtube sd8Ng6wUhhs 650]