Punxsutawney Phil's prediction Monday morning that this winter would be a long one came as no surprise to residents of the Midwest and Northeast.
Less than a week after a blizzard shut down much of New England with one to three feet of snow, another snowstorm is sweeping through the Northeast. The current storm, which covered the Chicago area with up to 1-1/2 feet of snow on Sunday, has now moved through the Ohio Valley, into Pennsylvania, western New York, and finally New England.
Snow is hitting many parts of the Northeast and New England for the third time in a little more than a week.
Accumulations of between 9 to 16 inches of snow are expected in Boston, and the Arctic air following the storm has raised the threat of ice.
School was canceled on Monday in Chicago and Boston and snow emergencies were announced in many parts of New England. Throughout the Midwest and Northeast, hundreds of public schools have canceled classes to keep children off of the road and out of harm’s way.
"For New Englanders, we're used to this during the winter," Matt Doody of the National Weather Service told the Associated Press. But he warned that commutes would be messy.
Public officials in New England announced parking bans ahead of the storm so that crews could work to keep the roads clear of snow. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has advised commuters to stay off the road whenever possible and use public transport.
"The morning commute is going to be disastrous," Kevin Roth, lead forecaster for the Weather Channel, announced. "Boston will have a bad evening commute as well, but New York City should be done by the evening."
Meanwhile, those who planned to travel further afield have been halted in their tracks. More than 5,300 flights were canceled over Sunday and Monday due to the storm, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.
The snowstorm has also delayed two of the nation's biggest court cases, the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez and the jury selection for the federal trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Proceedings are expected to resume Tuesday.
But authorities do not appear as concerned about this snowstorm as they were about last week’s blizzard.
"This is a big storm. Ten to 14 inches is a lot of snow, but compared to 24 to 36, it's much more typical of a New England winter storm and not a once in every 10 years kind of experience, which is what we had last week,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said, New England Cable News reported.
This report contains material from the Associated Press.