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Winter storm dumped at least a foot of snow across 25 states

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 12/3/2019 John Bacon and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
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Schools and businesses across much of the Northeast were shuttered Tuesday and travel plans were snarled as the season's first major winter storm pounded the region with more than a foot of snow, ice and high winds.

Parts of Maine could see up to 2 feet of snow before the storm finally eases late Tuesday, forecasters said. The angry weather marked the last days of a storm that began a slow, crippling march across the nation a week ago.

In all, the storm dumped at least a foot of snow across 25 states, the National Weather Service said. This included over 4 feet in mountainous areas of California and Utah.

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Snow from the storm fell as far south as the high desert of Southern California, Tennessee and the mountains of northern Georgia, the Capital Weather Gang said.

As of Monday, snow covered over 46% of the Lower 48, the most for Dec. 2 since the weather service started keeping snow cover records in 2003.

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The storm caused thousands of flights to be delayed or canceled out of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts on Monday and Tuesday. Pennsylvania and New Jersey were among states placing driving restrictions on some highways.

The National Weather Service in Boston said some areas of the Massachusetts coast saw 1 to 2 inches of snow an hour overnight. More than a foot of snow had fallen in Worcester before dawn Tuesday, and it was still coming down. Windsor Locks, Connecticut, had more than 13 inches.

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Schools in both towns were closed Tuesday. Boston's 54,000 public school students also won a day off, courtesy of the front dubbed Winter Storm Ezekiel by the Weather Channel.

"Snow becoming heavy again in #Boston," the weather service in Boston tweeted to morning commuters. "Allow extra time to reach your destination this morning, it's a very slow commute." 

In New York state, areas in and around Albany had historic snow totals. Official storm-total snowfall at Albany International Airport was 22.6 inches – the eighth biggest snowstorm ever and the fourth biggest December snowfall on record. Delanson, 25 miles northwest of Albany, reported 27 inches. 

A tractor-trailer collided with a bus on the New York Thruway near the Massachusetts line late Monday, injuring some passengers and closing the roadway.

"Emergency personnel responded to the accident and, thankfully, there appear to be no life-threatening injuries," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "I urge all New Yorkers to stay off the roads."

The worst of the storm was targeting northern New England on Tuesday before heading out to sea Tuesday night.

"As the storm pivots along the coast, much of Maine will see snowfall totals pile up," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham. "A gusty north wind will also lead to reduced visibilities as well as some blowing and drifting of snow across area roadways."

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The storm began its march across the nation last Tuesday when it slammed across southern Oregon and northwestern California, a "bomb cyclone" with 100 mph wind gusts along the coast and multiple feet of snow in the mountains. 

Bomb cyclones hitting the West Coast are rare, drawing weather service warnings that the storm could rival some of the most intense storms on record for that part of the country. 

The storm then swept east over the next four days, driving heavy snow and strong winds to a vast portion of the Upper Midwest and the Plains. The storm began pummeling the Northeast as snow, freezing rain and sleet on Sunday. 

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Winter storm dumped at least a foot of snow across 25 states

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