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Winter's final encore? More snow for parts of US

At least a few inches of snow were reported in the Washington area and parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey by early Monday.

By Sarah Brumfield
The Associated Press

3/17/2014

WASHINGTON — Winter-weary motorists faced another treacherous commute Monday in parts of the Mid-Atlantic as snow and frigid weather blew in just days before the start of spring.

At least a few inches of snow were reported in the Washington area and parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey by early Monday.

In Washington, crews worked overnight to clear snow, but transportation officials warned that roads were still dangerous. Heavy snow closed Reagan National Airport's runways. Dulles International Airport and BWI were seeing many cancelations, but were open.

Forecasters urged drivers not to let their guards down, and federal offices in the Washington area were closed for the day. Downtown Washington roads were covered as heavy snow fell early Monday, but by the time rush hour would usually begin, just a few flakes fell on slushy roads with light traffic.

In Falls Church, Va., Mike Miller spun out twice on the highway in the 3 a.m. hour on what turned out to be a one-hour drive to open up a Sunoco. No one was hurt in the incident.

"Luckily no one was behind me," he said.

But Miller remained in good spirits.

"My thing is, it's still technically winter until the 20th," he said, referring to the first day of spring. "There are places where it snows year round. Just deal with it."

Stephen Moore, 46, who works for the State Department, had pulled out his cross-country skis and was taking the Metro down to the National Mall, where he was hoping there'd be enough snow to put them to use.

"I'm assuming this is the last snow of the year," Moore said.

Willis Anderson of Falls Church, Va., said he recognizes he is in the minority, but he likes the snow. He took his dog for a walk to the grocery store just to enjoy the weather.

"This is a cold-weather dog right here," he said. "He spruces up for cold weather."

In New Jersey, the heaviest snow was reported in the southern part of the state, where many schools were closed or delayed opening.

While some were in good spirits about the weather, patience was wearing thin for many others.

"Never thought of March as being Spring. But snow, yeah, I'm over snow," said Jackie Denham, who was at a grocery store in Alexandria, Va., on Sunday.

Rain and thunderstorms were expected in the Southeast, some of which could be strong. Winter's return follows several days of spring-like temperatures in many regions.

Ricardo Contreras, an upholsterer from Harrisburg, Pa., said he was tired of the winter and had no plans to shovel whatever might fall overnight.

"I'll just let it melt by itself," Contreras said.

Engineer Bill Bingham, heading into the West Shore Plaza in Lemoyne, Pa., for Sunday breakfast, said he was most looking forward to playing some golf for the first time in many months.

"I really like the winter, but I'm done with the snow now," Bingham said. "I'm ready for spring."

Richard Windsor of Jackson, N.J., said he was not that impressed by the new storm system. Several previous storms this season dropped 10 or more inches of snow in the state.

"With the winter we've had, I'm not worried about an inch or two of snow," Windsor said as he gassed up his sport utility vehicle Sunday morning. "I figure if I made it through the stronger storms, I can handle this."

Temperatures in many areas are expected to be in tune with spring by Thursday. But forecasters cannot say whether winter weather will finally end. Forecasters said snowstorms are typical through March.

Associated Press writers Matthew Barakat in Falls Church, Va.; Jessica Gresko in Arlington, Va.; Grant Schulte in Des Moines, Iowa; Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa.; Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton, N.J., contributed to this report.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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