A winter storm stretching from North Carolina to New England was expected to produce more than a foot of snow in some areas, disrupting travel for millions of people along the I-95 corridor and creating hazardous conditions through Tuesday, meteorologists said.
Widespread snowfall of up to 12 inches, including pockets of snow greater than 18 inches, was likely in the Northeast.
On Sunday, as much as three inches of snow fell across the Washington, D.C., area, and forecasters said another inch or so was expected to accumulate on Monday.
Further north in Philadelphia, about two inches of snow had fallen by the early hours of Monday, with about five inches in the suburbs. Conditions across the area were expected to dramatically worsen as the day progressed, local meteorologists said, suggesting the heaviest snow will fall from midmorning through the early evening.
It was forecast that the Philadelphia area would receive eight to 12 inches of snow. Areas around the city were expected to receive over a foot and more than 18 inches of snow was possible in the Lehigh Valley and Poconos. A combination of heavy snow and strong winds up to 60 m.p.h. in some areas could create power outages.
In New Jersey, where a state of emergency was declared, up to two feet of snow was expected in some areas.
Similar conditions were forecast for New York City, where a state of emergency was also in place. Twelve to 18 inches of snow were expected for Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and portions of Brooklyn and Queens, according to CBS New York. Long Island could receive six to 12 inches. Strong winds were expected to whip through the tristate area, gusting up to 50 m.p.h. in some areas.
Blizzard-like conditions were expected to develop in New England on Monday, Boston meteorologists said. Snow was expected to begin falling in Massachusetts at a rate of one to two inches an hour by the morning, and a foot was expected by the evening. Wind gusts up to 70 m.p.h. and moderate coastal flooding could occur.
By Monday evening, the snow will shift into Northern New England, according to the National Weather Service. Areas of rain and freezing rain could occur along the I-95 corridor from Washington to Philadelphia.
The storm brought more than six feet of snow and heavy rain to California last week before moving through the Midwest, leaving about eight inches of snow in Chicago, the National Weather Service said.
Although the snow didn’t start falling in the east until late Sunday, hardware stores carrying snow removal supplies saw an increase in foot traffic over the weekend.
The Hardware Store in Sparta, N.J., was “inundated” with customers preparing for the storm, said Bob Barnes, one of the store’s owners. The store had nearly sold out of ice melt, Mr. Barnes said, and it sold about a half-dozen snowblowers on Saturday and several more on Sunday, in addition to shovels.
“Parking lot’s been jammed, triple parked,” he said. “Typically when we get a big storm, people panic. People wait until the last minute. Particularly in today’s economy, they don’t want to spend a lot of money until it happens.”
Coronavirus vaccine sites in the New York metro area were closing Monday because of a looming winter storm that is expected to dump more than a foot of snow on the region.
Winter storm warnings were in place for a large swath of the Eastern United States on Sunday, disrupting vaccinations in Washington, Philadelphia, New Jersey and elsewhere.
At a news conference on Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said he did not want older residents traveling to vaccine appointments amid blizzard-like conditions with gusty winds. Vaccinations scheduled for Tuesday in New York City have not been canceled, for now, Mr. de Blasio said.
The storm will temporarily derail a vaccine rollout that has been plagued by inadequate supply, buggy sign-up systems and confusion over the New York State’s strict eligibility guidelines. The vaccine is available to residents 65 and older as well as a wide range of workers designated “essential.”
About 800,000 doses have been administered so far in the city, Mr. de Blasio said.
Vaccine appointments at several sites in the region — the Javits Center in Manhattan, the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, a drive-through site at Jones Beach in Long Island, SUNY Stony Brook and the Westchester County Center — would be rescheduled for this week, according to a statement from Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. “We ask all New Yorkers to monitor the weather and stay off the roads tomorrow so our crews and first responders can safely do their jobs,” she said.
In the Philadelphia area, city-run testing and vaccine sites will be closed on Monday. Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and parts of the Washington, D.C., area were following suit. Some areas away from the center of the storm were expected to remain open for vaccinations, including parts of Massachusetts and upstate New York.
In New York City, a forecast of 20 inches of snow or more has prompted dire warnings from officials across the city and state, advising that people stay inside and avoid travel.
On Sunday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a local emergency declaration, barring most travel in the city starting at 6 a.m. on Monday except in cases of emergencies. Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey declared a state of emergency beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday and said most of New Jersey Transit’s bus and rail operations would be temporarily suspended on Monday because of the storm.
“This is not a storm to underestimate,” Mr. de Blasio said. “Take it seriously. This is a dangerous storm.”
Overnight into Monday, the National Weather Service predicted three to five inches of snow would have fallen in Central Park.
It estimated that one to three inches of snow per hour could fall in the afternoon.
Winds are expected to pick up speed, and gusts could reach 45 per hour. That could create “blizzard-like” conditions, said Deanne Criswell, the city’s emergency management commissioner.
Officials and utilities warned of falling trees and widespread power outages across the region.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority crews have been working to keep bus and rail service running, racing to keep ice off subway rails and rig buses with chains. Bus service would be reduced, and the M.T.A. said subway service above ground could be suspended if the snowfall was severe enough.
As inches of snow piled up during Washington’s biggest winter storm in two years, there was one place without any snowball fights.
Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s nonvoting House delegate, had urged the Capitol Police to allow the tradition to continue. The activity could be done safely, Ms. Norton said in a statement on Saturday, “by allowing only children and adults accompanied by children” into the area.
But a Capitol Police spokeswoman, Eva Malecki, citing the current security concerns and the city’s coronavirus restrictions, said it could not be permitted. “We, however, look forward to welcoming sledders back in the future,” she said in a statement.
While a rule against sledding on the Capitol grounds has been in place for decades, it was rarely enforced until after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Ms. Norton has pushed for sledding to be allowed on the grounds for years, routinely adding a provision to the annual federal spending bill to “forbear enforcement” of the ban mentioned on Page 175 of the Capitol Police regulations. She first succeeded in slipping the pro-sledding provision into the omnibus spending bill in 2016. (“Go for it!” she told the city’s residents after the ban was lifted that year.)
The previous year, Washingtonians held a “snow-in” at the complex to protest the rule.
The ban has been revived at another moment of heightened tensions. Instead of children making snowmen and snow angels, visitors to the Capitol complex these days are greeted by seven-foot-tall, unscalable fencing that went up after the riot.
But in a trying year, Ms. Norton said, the sledding tradition was one joy that should not be erased.
“Children across America have endured an extremely challenging year,” she said, “and D.C. children in particular have not only endured the coronavirus pandemic but now the militarization of their city, with the hostile symbols of fences and barbed wire. Sledding is a simple, childhood thrill. It is the least we can allow for our resilient children this winter season.”