The entire eastern United States was under weather siege Sunday as a furious weather front packing heavy snow, ice, gale-force winds, and tornadoes that last week dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Midwest continued its unforgiving march across the nation.

Iran PressAmerica: Almost 250,000 homes and businesses were dark in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Almost 5,000 flights into, out of, and within the U.S. had been canceled or delayed as of 3 p.m., according to the tracking website

The impact of the storm was varying greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. Jackson, Mississippi, saw trace amounts of snow early Sunday while just 25 miles to the northeast the hamlet of Goshen Springs was stunned by more than 8 inches.

Southern cities were on alert. Nashville could get 3 inches, parts of the state a foot of snow. The streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, were covered early Sunday, and the National Weather Service called for snow accumulations of 2 to 7 inches in some parts of the state.

"Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice," the weather service warned. "Travel could be nearly impossible."

Thundersnow was reported near Waynesville, North Carolina. Accuweather said a strike of lightning was detected during heavy snowfall. Thundersnow is unusual but typically happens a few times each year in strong snowstorms, Accuweather said.

Elsewhere, 1 to 4 inches of sleet, snow, and ice are forecast for the Atlanta area as well as other parts of Georgia and South Carolina.

“Hopefully, the storm will underdeliver, but it could overdeliver. We just don’t know,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who declared a state of emergency.

In southwestern Florida, rolling tornado warnings were being issued. The storm, dubbed a "Saskatchewan screamer" because it originated in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, left over a foot of snow in Des Moines, Iowa, over the weekend. The Ozarks town of Canaan in Arkansas also saw a foot of snow.

The storm was expected to head into the Northeast while dropping snow, sleet, and rain around the densely populated Eastern Seaboard. Washington, D.C., was forecast to see up to 3 inches of snow followed by a round of ice. Parts of the metro area already saw more snow in one week this month than in the last two years.

Parts of Western Pennsylvania could get a foot of snow, forecasters said.