Midwest, Northeast Dig Out of Snow, Residents Brace for More Harsh Weather

The Northeast and Midwest spent Saturday digging themselves out of the holiday snow and ice that fell at the start of the weekend — and prepared for more wintry weather on the way.

More than a foot of snow was on the ground in some places. The storm snarled traffic and affected major airports in the Northeast.

Snow fell at a quick pace Friday night over New England. Utility crews in states including New Hampshire worked through the night to restore power — especially to areas still without electricity since an ice storm more than a week ago.

Click here for photos of wintry weather across the country.

Another developing storm system was expected to bring more snow, and possibly sleet or ice accumulations, to the region on Sunday. The National Weather Service was also predicting a good chance of snow on Christmas Eve.

More winter weather struck the central portion of the country Saturday. A storm was dumping three to five inches of snow over much of the region, with the possibility of half of a foot in areas.

Winds were expected to be strong, and blizzard watches and warnings were issued to parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. The system ushered cold air into the region.

Temperatures over Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Nebraska ranged from the low single digits to below freezing, with wind chills down into the minus 20s and 30s.

The Northeast started the day with rain and snow. The precipitation would likely taper off in the afternoon and evening, but the clouds were expected to linger.

Travelers trying to get a head start on their holiday vacations were stymied by the snow Friday as a storm from the Midwest swept across New York, New Jersey and New England, grounding hundreds of flights and delaying traffic across the state.

Nearly a third of the daily flights at Newark Liberty, Kennedy and LaGuardia airports had been canceled as of late Friday afternoon, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The three airports average about 3,500 flights every 24 hours, with 1,400 at Newark.

In parts of Illinois and the Midwest, residents braced themselves for bone-chilling temperatures forecast for much of the weekend.

Meteorologist Amy Seeley said temperatures will plummet to dangerous lows starting Saturday night. They'll fall to around five degrees below zero late Sunday, with wind gusts of 30 miles an hour making it feel like 20 degrees below freezing.