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Snow, snow, go away: Huge winter storm stretches across the U.S.

Snow, snow, go away: Huge winter storm stretches across the U.S.
This satellite photo shows a storm system carrying rain, ice and snow, stretching from the mountain West to the East Coast. (NASA)

February gave way to March, but harsh, snowy weather was still going strong across much of the central U.S. over the weekend.

More than 1,700 flights inside the U.S. were canceled and thousands more delayed Sunday as winter storm alerts stretched from northern New Mexico all the way to New Jersey, bringing yet another bout of nasty weather to millions of Americans exhausted by winter.

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Sunday church services across Oklahoma were canceled as bands of freezing rain and sleet swept through the state. After a spate of traffic accidents in Monongalia County, W.Va., officials declared a state of emergency for the six to 10 inches of snow expected to hit the area. That could be the area's worst snowfall of the season.

And in Anne Arundel County, Md., residents received a "code red" alert message from county officials asking them to prepare for 14 inches of snow forecast to hit the area starting early Monday morning.

Much of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey were bracing for up to 10 inches of snow by Monday night.

"Probably the best word to describe it [the storm system] is 'messy,' " James LaRosa, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Nashville, Tenn., told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday.

Part of the huge swaths of moisture strolling across the U.S. comes from the massive rainstorms that plowed through Southern California late last week and over the weekend, LaRosa said.

The result in many states will be a sloppy mix of precipitation. In Tennessee, for instance, some areas were expected to get up to two inches of freezing rain and sleet, followed by three to four inches of snow.

As of Sunday afternoon, ice storms were drifting through Oklahoma, Arkansas and western Kentucky, according to the National Weather Service, icing over the windows of drivers brave enough  -- or foolish enough -- to face the weather.

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