December 12, 2016 / 2:41 PM / 8 months ago

Snow, cold to sweep across U.S. Northeast ahead of arctic blast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A snowstorm that pummeled the Midwest and left at least two dead will sweep across the U.S. Northeast on Monday, creating tough travel conditions ahead of the season's first arctic blast, forecasters said.

The cold front that dumped more than 10 inches (25 cm) of snow on northern Illinois has prompted winter storm warnings and advisories as it also brings sleet and rain to New England and parts of the Middle Atlantic states, the National Weather Service said.

AccuWeather, a private forecaster, said 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm) of snow were expected to snarl travel in northern New York and New England. Local accumulations could be higher.

Conditions were expected to improve late on Monday as the system moves through the region. FlightAware, which tracks air travel, said almost 300 U.S. flights had been canceled on Monday after 1,800 were grounded on Sunday, mostly at Chicago's two main airports.

Authorities in Michigan said two men, ages 55 and 70, had died on Sunday after using blowing machines to clear snow. The deaths took place in separate incidents in Canton and Rochester Hills, outside Detroit, and the causes were under investigation.

The National Weather Service said another arctic air mass would spread over the northern Great Plains and Midwest in the next couple of days and then head east.

“After the first true cold shot of the year this past week, much of the northern Plains can expect a more formidable shot of arctic air again this upcoming week,” AccuWeather meteorologist Max Vido said on the website.

The service said high temperatures would be in the single digits F (-17 to -12 C) to just below zero F (-18 C) from the Dakotas through Minnesota and Wisconsin as the cold air grips the region.

Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Matthew Lewis

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