- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Spring is just days away, but winter is not leaving quietly.

Just as the trees started blooming and the birds started chirping, another round of snow and ice was bearing down Sunday on the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic.

The National Weather Service placed the D.C. area under a winter storm warning beginning Sunday evening and extending to Monday afternoon. The warning covers Northern Virginia, the District, southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore to the Delaware coast.

The weather service on Sunday afternoon predicted accumulations of 4 to 8 inches of snow in the D.C. area. The heaviest snow was expected after midnight and through early Monday morning.

Forecasters predicted a complicated morning commute.

“Travel will be dangerous. It’s a late-season storm but we can’t let our guard down,” said Amy Bettwy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Sterling, Va.

Metro on Sunday afternoon announced its buses would operate under a “moderate” snow service plan, meaning that many routes would have planned detours in effect to keep buses off hilly terrain, narrow side streets and other problem areas.

The weather service said up to 10 inches of snow was expected in parts of the Shenandoah Valley and central and west-central Virginia. Up to a foot of snow was possible in the mountains above 2,000 feet.

The forecast extends a seemingly endless winter during which local governments have drained their snow-removal budgets and school systems have long since run out of snow days.

But the D.C. area was not alone.

Snow was expected by Monday afternoon from the Central Appalachians to the Jersey Shore. Some accumulation was predicted in Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina.

A band of snow fell across Iowa on Saturday evening, following a warm and sunny day. The Des Moines area received about an inch of snow.

Rain and thunderstorms were expected in the Southeast, some of which could be strong.

Winter’s return follows several days of spring-like temperatures. People weary of shoveling snow were hoping the latest storm would be winter’s final encore.

Ricardo Contreras, an upholsterer from Harrisburg, Pa., said he was tired of the winter and had no plans to shovel whatever might fall overnight.

“I’ll just let it melt by itself,” Mr. Contreras said.

Engineer Bill Bingham, heading into the West Shore Plaza in Lemoyne, Pa., for Sunday breakfast, said he was most looking forward to playing some golf for the first time in many months.

“I really like the winter, but I’m done with the snow now,” Mr. Bingham said. “I’m ready for spring.”

Richard Windsor of Jackson, N.J., said he was not impressed by the new storm system. Several previous storms this season dropped 10 or more inches of snow in the state.

“With the winter we’ve had, I’m not worried about an inch or two of snow,” Mr. Windsor said Sunday morning. “I figure if I made it through the stronger storms, I can handle this.”

Ms. Bettwy said snowstorms are typical through March.

Temperatures in the D.C. area were expected to rise to the mid-50s and low 60s by Thursday — the first day of spring.Forecasters say travel will be dangerous.

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