A corridor of winter weather made its way across the Ohio Valley and upper Midwest on Tuesday, breaking a snowfall record in Chicago.
The system dumped heavy snow in places as it moved toward the District of Columbia and Baltimore, which braced for potentially heavy accumulations, according to a National Weather Service bulletin.
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport had 6 inches of snow by the afternoon, besting a 1999 record for the date by 2.2 inches. It was the first 6-inch snowfall in the Windy City since the Groundhog Day blizzard of 2011, the National Weather Service said.
O'Hare canceled 900 flights and reported delays, while Chicago's other major airport, Midway, canceled 240 flights, according to the city's aviation department. Passengers were advised to check their airline's website to confirm flight status.
United Airlines said about 650 flights systemwide for Wednesday were canceled, most to and from Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.
"They will try to get as many aircraft out of Dulles today (Tuesday) as possible so they are not sitting in a snow storm," United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy told CNN. "This helps speed up the resumption of flights after the storm is passed. "
By midafternoon Tuesday, Lake City, Minnesota, had been blanketed with 11.5 inches of snow since Sunday morning. New Hampton, Iowa, had 8.6 inches and the level stood at 15 inches in Langdon, North Dakota.
The storm will intensify in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesday, said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen, with a rain-snow line from Washington to Boston. West of the line will see significant snowfall, particularly in the higher elevations of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia.
One weather model predicts that the snow won't make it to the District of Columbia, said CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera. Another says Washington, Philadelphia and Boston could see a foot of snow.
The Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, is prepared to deploy scores of trucks and snow plows, CNN's Weather Center said. Washington and Baltimore were under a winter storm warning Tuesday evening.
Arlington National Cemetery put in place inclement weather plans for Wednesday.
Interstate 95, connecting the capital with Philadelphia, could see heavy snow, the weather service warned.
Severe weather hit Gordon County, Georgia, on Tuesday afternoon, more than a month after a fierce system caused widespread damage in the area. Officials reported downed power lines, trees and damage to homes, said Cpl. Andrew York of the county's dispatch center.
About 10 homes were damaged, officials told CNN. No injuries have been reported so far.