Flights were delayed and morning commutes were messy, but the snow storm that hit the Northeast was tapering off by late afternoon on Tuesday.
"It could have been a lot worse," said Jason Tuell, director of the National Weather Service's eastern region.
Between 2 and 5 inches fell in cities from Washington, D.C., to Boston. Accumulation was limited because temperatures stayed right around freezing, Tuell said.
Still, the band of snow running from West Virginia to New England caused plenty of problems.
In Baltimore, two people in an SUV were killed when it collided with a commuter train just after 6 a.m., and investigators were looking at weather as a possible cause. There were 20 people on the train, but none reported injured.
Yonkers Police Dept. / AP
Vehicles involved in an accident on slick roads in Yonkers, N.Y, on Monday.
Air traffic was snarled: The Philadelphia airport reported delays of four and a half hours, New York LaGuardia five hours and Newark, N.J., five and a half hours. Almost 1,400 flights were canceled nationwide.
School was called off across the mid-Atlantic states, and most of the federal government was closed for the day. The House stayed open, as did the Supreme Court, which scheduled an oral argument on air pollution regulation.
Local officials were bracing for potentially dangerous conditions overnight as the mercury plunges, making wet roads slick with ice.
The snow was described by meteorologists as the “parting shot” of two winter storms that swept across the country over the weekend and last week, causing deadly pileups, widespread power outages and travel headaches.
As much as 12 inches of snow fell on Sunday in parts of Delaware and New Jersey, according to the National Weather Service. Commuters and air travelers were hindered on Monday as this snow fall continued in Washington, D.C., and parts of Pennsylvania.
Thousands of flights were canceled over the weekend, many of them at Dallas/Fort Worth International, where frustrated passengers found themselves stranded in terminals.
There were several large pileups. The biggest came on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, where a man was struck and killed as he got out of his car following a minor accident, setting off a chain-reaction smash involving 50 cars.
Dozens of holiday events were canceled, including marathons in Dallas and Memphis, Tenn., and the snow made for spectacular wintry scenes at several football games.
Meteorologists said a storm developing in the center of the country could bring another batch of snow to the Plains later in the week. The Northeast, meanwhile, is looking at two days of very cold weather with high temperatures struggling to break freezing and low temperatures in the teens.
First published December 10 2013, 4:58 PM