The National Weather Service says the storm could bring 10 inches of snow Tuesday to Philadelphia and New York and bitterly cold air with wind chills as low as 10 degrees below zero.
It warned of heavy winds and hazardous driving conditions throughout the day as the storm moves up the East Coast.
The federal government says its offices in the Washington area will be closed Tuesday because of the storm. The weather service warns the storm could impact the morning commute in Washington and Baltimore.
Schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and West Virginia are sending students home early on Tuesday or staying closed after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.