LOS ANGELES, Jan 12 (Reuters) – A winter storm that dumped heavy snow on the U.S. Midwest, stranding some motorists in Missouri and canceling dozens of flights, marched east toward Washington on Saturday.
The weather system is forecast to affect an 1,800-mile corridor of the United States from Colorado to the mid-Atlantic. It started as rain from Mexico and turned to snow as it met icy air.
The storm hit Kansas and Missouri on Friday and continued pummeling those states on Saturday, as it extended into parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, said U.S. Weather Prediction Center meteorologist Andrew Orrison.
The storm is dumping its heaviest snowfall on areas west of St. Louis, where about a foot and a half of snow was recorded, with more still falling on Saturday, Orrison said.
Winter storms and weather across the United States — January 2019
Horses stand over a major winter storm which dropped around 8 inches of snow in Taos, New Mexico, U.S., January 11, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Hay
Traffic moved through the town center after a major winter storm dropped around 8 inches of snow in Taos, New Mexico, U.S., January 11, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Hay
A couple takes photos at the frozen fountain in Bryant Park January 11, 2019 in New York. New York City was hit with bitter temperatures and high winds. – The low for Friday was 22 Farenheit (-5.5 Celsius) (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
People take photos of the frozen fountain in Bryant Park on January 11, 2019 in New York. New York City was hit with bitter temperatures and high winds. – The low for Friday was 22 Farenheit (-5.5 Celsius) (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Birds play in the frozen fountain in Bryant Park January 11, 2019 in New York. New York City was hit with bitter temperatures and high winds. The low for Friday was 22 Farenheit (-5.5 Celsius) (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Lakewood CO – JANUARY 11: Meredith Mills pushes shopping carts back into King Soppers on January 11, 2019 in Lakewood, Colorado. Snow continues to fall in the metro area. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
SILVER SPRING, MD – JAN 9: Emmi Horne, 8, tries to catch snowflakes on her toungue as she walks through downtown Silver Spring, Maryland during a brief snow squall with her mom, Terry Horne, right. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 8: A pedestrian passes through a light dusting of snow on a Columbia Road sidewalk in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston on Jan. 8, 2019. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Waves from the East River are seen in front of the Brooklyn Bridge and the skyline of Manhattan in New York on January 7, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Keith Morris, of the City of Owensboro’s Street Department, takes off a hose after loading 1,000 gallons of salt brine into a tank on a truck, Friday afternoon, Jan. 11, 2019, so it can be spread on city roads in Owensboro, Ky. The National Weather Service had issued a winter weather advisory on Friday of accumulating snow moving into the area Friday evening into early Saturday. (Alan Warren/The Messenger-Inquirer via AP)
Traffic moves along I-70 near Lawrence, Kan., Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 ahead of an expected snow storm. The area is under a Winter Weather Advisory. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A plow treats Douglas County Road 438 near Lawrence, Kan., Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 ahead of an expected snow storm. The area is under a Winter Weather Advisory. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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More than 1,200 motorists in Missouri were stranded and there were four deaths on the roads, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said in a tweet on Saturday.
It was not immediately clear if the fatalities were all weather-related and a representative for the Missouri Department of Public Safety could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dozens of flights were canceled at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which described the onslaught of snow, in a message on Twitter, as one of its biggest single-day winter storms in years.
Snow is forecast for the Appalachian Mountains and the mid-Atlantic on Saturday evening and Sunday.
“Given how cold it is across the Midwest and even in the mid-Atlantic region, certainly people who are going to be out are going to want to dress in layered clothing,” Orrison said.
“To the extent that it’s snowing outside, travel will be hazardous and outright dangerous in some areas,” he said.
Washington, where many federal government offices are closed because of the U.S. government shutdown, is expected to receive 6 to 8 inches of snow when the storm arrives there, according to the National Weather Service.
Central and northern Virginia will receive even more, with up to 10 inches of snow possible in some places.
Bands of icy rain are forecast for areas farther south, including parts of Virginia and South Carolina.
But the storm will bypass New York City and other parts of the Northeast. Philadelphia is expected to receive a few inches of snow, but areas north of there are expected to be spared, Orrison said.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)