Gulf Coast to Northeast being hit with wintry mix of snow, ice

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The entire Gulf Coast region was paralyzed on Wednesday morning with hundreds of schools and flights cancelled and interstates shut down.

A state of emergency has already been declared in North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama due to the winter weather moving through the region. Schools in at least 10 states, including major cities like Houston, Philadelphia and Boston were either cancelled or delayed.

Alabama went to the extreme step of cancelling classes for every public school in the state -- about 727,000 students -- on Wednesday.

Hundreds of accidents were reported Tuesday in the Houston area as the storm began to move through.

Storm alerts have been issued from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, with even a freeze watch for usually warm central Florida.

The storm system is moving east Wednesday morning and stretches hundreds of miles from the Gulf Coast to northern New England. Snow will continue for the inland Northeast and the rain will change to snow from New York City to Boston.

By early afternoon, the snow will move into Raleigh, North Carolina, where a winter storm warning has been issued for 3 to 6 inches of snow.

Snow will continue in the Northeast Wednesday afternoon, with the heaviest snow falling just east of Boston and north of New York City.

During the evening rush hour, major delays are expected in the Carolinas from Columbia to Raleigh.

Snow will be falling around Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia, where slick roads are also expected.

When all is said and done, the heaviest snow will fall in western Massachusetts and into northern New England where locally 9 inches of snow is possible in the highest elevations.

Also, locally, half a foot of snow is possible in North Carolina.

Cold air follows behind

The cold air follows the storm all the way into the Gulf Coast and Florida for the next couple of days.

Wind chills on Wednesday morning all the way to the Gulf Coast are in the single digits and teens.

Thursday morning will be the coldest in the Southeast and into Florida, where a freeze watch has been issued for Tampa and a wind chill advisory issued for Fort Myers.

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