DIA flights affected as blizzard heads to East Coast

NEW YORK — The Farmer’s Almanac says March usually blows in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. But this year it seems to be the opposite.

Less than two weeks ago, the nation’s capital was enjoying 80-degree temperatures.

Now, Washington and much of the Northeast are about to get walloped with heavy snows from a major winter storm Monday and Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

Forecasters expect Washington will get off easy, with 5-10 inches of snow.

New York could get up to 20 inches, Mayor Bill De Blasio said Monday, as well as coastal flooding and wind gusts as high as 40-50 mph. Boston could get up to 18 inches, forecasters said.

De Blasio said New York public schools will be closed Tuesday.

“This should be a very serious blizzard, one that everyone should take seriously,” de Blasio said.

Travelers should expect delays. By 11 a.m. Monday, airlines had canceled 1,241 Tuesday flights out of six large airports in the storm’s path, and 1,106 arrivals, according to FlightAware.

Officials at Denver International Airport said the big storm is affecting flights there. Officials said passengers should check their flight status if they are heading to the Northeast.

More than 1,200 flights have been canceled because of the storm, according to FlightAware.com, including a handful out of DIA.

As of 2:30 p.m., DIA delays within, into or out of the United States totaled 151. The number of cancellations at DIA were at 33.

The snow is expected to begin after midnight in New York. The period of most accumulation should be between 6 a.m. and noon Tuesday, with a possible 2-4 inches per hour then and whiteout potential, de Blasio said.

He said it’s too soon to say about subways and buses.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo activated the State Emergency Operations Center for Monday evening. State agencies have already positioned personnel, assets, and state stockpile resources — including sandbags, generators and pumps — to key areas.

Cuomo urged commuters to drive carefully and avoid unnecessary travel. Drivers, especially tractor trailers, should be prepared for road closures across the state.