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Snow Follows On Heels Of Ice Storm In The East

The Eastern U.S. is getting a second dose of winter Tuesday, as forecasters call for 2 to 7 inches of snow in areas from southwest Virginia to the coast of New England.

"Snow is falling from Tennessee Valley into the Mid-Atlantic and New England Tuesday," the National Weather Service says. "The fast moving system is creating a swath of 2 to 7 inches of snow," according to the agency, adding that the snow should stop falling by Tuesday night.

Far more snow is expected near the Great Lakes, where two clipper systems will bring snow on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Heavy Lake Effect snows will also impact the Lower Great Lakes into later this week, with up to 2 feet of accumulation," the weather agency says.

The weather has forced airlines to cancel more than 1,300 flights today, according to commercial aviation tracking site FlightAware. Large airports in Newark, N.J., Dallas-Fort Worth and Philadelphia each reported more than 200 total cancellations for inbound and outbound flights, as did New York's LaGuardia Airport.

In the Washington, D.C., metro area, non-emergency federal employees were granted an excused absence Tuesday, while other employees were told to telecommute.

Many schools and businesses said they wouldn't open for the day, sparking a rash of tweets with the tag #snowday this morning. Judging from a sampling of messages, many people will spend the day with kids and pets, or with a blanket, a TV and some comfort food.

And as is often the case, some people complained about the closings — while others complained about places being open.

In many areas, the precipitation is being followed by cold air that is keeping the snow, and ice from a storm earlier this week, intact.

That combination has introduced the idea of "cobblestone ice" to drivers in North Texas, where several inches of ice have accumulated since the weekend.

The Texas Department of Transportation's Ryan LaFontaine "says cobblestone ice is a combination of ice accumulation and sand laid down by TxDOT and city trucks — and then traffic compresses the stuff together to form a cobblestone-type surface, a thick layer of frozen ruts and potholes," reports NPR member station KERA.

"It has to be kind of busted up and become a slushy substance in order for us to plow it to the side," LaFontaine says.

KERA spoke to several truck drivers who were staying put at a Travel Center of America on I-35 near Denton, Texas.

"I'm from California and we chain up all the time to go across the mountain passes," trucker Jon Gandelman says. "That's just snow. When it's ice, you don't go anywhere."

Comparing the road surface to a skiing event, a local weatherman calls it "moguls for cars."

One final note: During the recent storm, someone put a sweater on a young pig so the animal could enjoy the snow. That happened Sunday, but we decided we had to share it here.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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