Massive winter storm expected to dump rain, ice, snow on much of U.S. –

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By Dennis Romero and Kalhan Rosenblatt

A massive winter storm was creating travel and commuting trouble for as many as 200 million people in as many as 39 states on Wednesday.

The system is expected to dump rain, snow and ice across the South, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and southern New England.

“A large winter storm will affect locations from the Upper Midwest to the East Coast beginning tonight,” the National Weather Service said in a forecast discussion Tuesday. “Significant amounts of moisture will spread north and east from the Gulf of Mexico.”

By 12:30 p.m. ET Wednesday morning, nearly 2,000 flights had been cancelled nearly more than 2,700 flights had been delayed, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

The upper-level system could bring 6 inches of snow to parts of the Midwest, 4 inches to Washington, and as many as 4 inches to New York and New Jersey, according to NBC News’ meteorologist Dylan Dreyer.

By Tuesday night, it had already moved into the Rockies and Plains.

On Wednesday, a winter weather advisory was in place from 12 p.m. ET until 1 a.m. ET for New York and New Jersey, according to the National Weather Service.

“With a wintery mix expected through much of the state during this evening’s commute, I encourage all drivers to take it slow and avoid the roads if possible during this winter weather event,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Wednesday.

As the storm reaches the East Coast and southern New England on Wednesday afternoon, some of the precipitation is expected to turn to rain, she said.