The first winter storm of the season to hit the US northeast began dumping snow and freezing rain on Thursday, leaving the White House and Capitol buildings coated in white and causing accidents across the region.
According to the US weather service the storm stretched from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic, and may eventually bring over 30cm of snow to parts of Pennsylvania and New York.
The worst of the storm is expected to remain to the west of both New York City and Washington DC. New York City was forecast to see around 8cm of snow and Washington is still expected to receive only 5cm before the storm turns into rain.
Many school districts in the Washington area cancelled classes and the federal government gave workers the option to take unscheduled leave.
As the storm moved north, it began dumping snow and freezing rain, leaving Central Park and Times Square coated in white.
Drivers in New York City were trapped in traffic for hours as the heavy snowstorms rolled up the East Coast.
In the event, 15cm of snow fell in just four and a half hours making this the snowiest November day there in 136 hours. In yet another nod towards climate change, it is also New York’s earliest single day 15cm measurement of snow on record.
Although forecast, the amount of snow was much higher than expected as the very wet storm came up against unusually dry and cold air.
As a result many people were left unprepared. Many highways around the city were closed as a result.
A traffic accident occurred on the George Washington Bridge, resulting in a heavy traffic jam that forced people to walk out of their vehicles to reach their workplaces, according to one driver.
Weather forecasters have said the Washington and New York areas may expect a snowier than usual winter this year.