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Winter Brings Fresh Round of Snow to U.S. Northeast




Flickr/John Spain

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A winter storm swept across the U.S. Northeast on Monday, yet again forcing flight cancellations, snarling traffic and proving weather-forecasting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil right.

Travelers leaving the New York City area after Sunday night's Super Bowl championship football game faced traffic jams at the region's airports and risky driving on slippery roads.

The storm could drop 4 to 8 inches of snow on an area stretching from eastern Kentucky to eastern New York state, the National Weather Service said.

Among the hardest hit by flight delays and cancellations on Monday was Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, the closest to the stadium where the Denver Broncos fell to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8 in the National Football League's matchup.

Newark had 152 flights canceled on Monday morning, according to Flightaware.com, an online site that tracks air traffic.

Delays of several hours also affected flights at New York's LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, as well as Philadelphia International Airport.

The small Teterboro Airport near the football stadium in New Jersey, which handles the private jets that would whisk away celebrities and other moneyed Super Bowl attendees, also reported delays, Flightaware.com said.

"All the people came here for the Super Bowl thinking 'Jersey ain't bad' are probably now stuck in the airport for the rest of the day," quipped one observer on Twitter.

Across the United States, 1,270 flights were canceled, Flightaware.com said.

Driving was hazardous along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington north to Boston, according to meteorologists.

The weather-induced headaches at the airports compounded the suffering of football fans stuck for hours on Sunday trying to board trains to and from the game at the New Jersey Transit hub station of Secaucus Junction.

"Seattle fans arriving in NYC at 1 am after 3 hour wait high fived each other and said 'out of New Jersey!' said one on Twitter.

Declaring it the first-ever "Transit Bowl," New Jersey Transit tweeted that it transported more than 33,000 fans, which it said was four times as many people as the National Football League had predicted.

Monday's storm blew in after dumping several inches of snow in the Ohio Valley on Sunday, the day famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, saw his shadow and - as the legend goes - predicted six more weeks of winter.

Still more wintry weather lay ahead, said Weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.

The storm will end as it moves out to sea, Dolce said. "After that we'll turn our attention to the next winter storm ... which will affect a large swath of the central and eastern states Tuesday and Wednesday."

The National Weather Service on Monday issued winter storm warnings for sections of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as New Jersey, Delaware and New York City and its surrounding areas.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Peter Galloway and Jonathan Oatis)

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