A winter storm packing heavy snow was expected to roll into the District of Columbia, northern Virginia and central Maryland early Monday, bringing up to 10 inches of snow to the area through the afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area until 4 p.m. EST Monday. Wind gusts of up to 35 mph (56 kph) were forecast, and travel was expected to be very difficult because of the hazardous conditions, the weather service said.

“The timing of this isn’t great,” said National Weather Service meteorologist David Roth. “For the D.C. area, it’s morning rush hour. At least for places to the northeast, it’ll be closer to midday.”

The Weather Prediction Center said 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow per hour could fall in some areas, and thunder snow was possible. Localized snowfall totals could reach 10 inches (25 centimeters).

Snow began falling Sunday night in parts of Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. A winter storm warning was also issued in parts of northern Alabama and southern Tennessee, and portions of Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.

Impacts from the winter storm were expected across the South, Appalachian states, the mid-Atlantic and up the East Coast.

In Washington, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that federal offices in the area would be closed on Monday. Emergency employees and telework employees would continue to work, the OPM said on its website.

Several school districts in the region said they would be closed, delayed or have virtual learning Monday. DC Public Schools said students and staff wouldn’t be returning to school until Thursday.


Associated Press reporter Julie Walker contributed from New York.