A few major East Coast cities are likely to see some impact, including Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia, and there is a possibility for light accumulation in NY along the northern edge of the storm.
The weather system, which started as rain from Mexico but has since turned into snow, is forecast to affect an 2,900 km swath of the United States from Colorado to the Mid-Atlantic.
The storm hit Kansas and Missouri on Friday and pummeled those states again on Saturday as it extended into parts of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and OH, said U.S. Weather Prediction Center meteorologist Andrew Orrison. The highest snowfall totals were in Montgomery City, Missouri, northwest of St. Louis, which was hit with 20 inches of snow.
At least five people were killed in road accidents as a severe winter storm swept through the US Midwest, media reported.
The storm is now moving east towards Washington DC and Baltimore.
"To the extent that it's snowing outside, travel will be hazardous and outright risky in some areas", he said.
Philadelphia is expected to receive a few inches of snow, but areas north of there are expected to be spared, Orrison added.
Virginia State Police say this weekend's winter storm contributed to a fatal crash on Interstate 81.
"In much of swath from Missouri to southern OH, this will heavy and wet and a strain to shovel", AccuWeather meteorologist Bill Deger wrote in a blog post.
The Southeast has seen abundant precipitation in December and January, and the additional rain could put a strain on rivers already high.
As the storm heads east, up to 16 inches (41 cm) of snow were likely in western Missouri and St. Louis.
At least five people died in weather-related crashes on roads in Missouri and Kansas, according to the highway patrolmen in both states.
In Kansas, a 62-year-old man died after his pickup truck skidded on the Kansas Turnpike and hit a concrete barrier.
In a tweet Saturday night, the patrol said it responded to 57 injuries, 878 crashes, 1,790 stranded motorists and 3,918 calls for service. A Delta plane carrying 126 crew and passengers slid off the runway as it was taxiing toward a terminal, and photos of the scene show the runway covered in several inches of wet snow. A foot was recorded in Columbia and 17 inches in Harrisburg as of 10 a.m. ET.
"Our crews remain out and are making good progress but as long as it's snowing the roads won't be totally clear", the Missouri Department of Transportation said on its St. Louis area Twitter feed.