They are used to harsh winters on America’s east coast but the current cold temperatures have not been experienced for 90 years.
A massive snowstorm has brought Washington to a virtual standstill, dumping more than half a metre of snow in some parts of the US capital.
The extreme conditions forced authorities to shut down a number of public services and close government offices.
With a 24-hour blizzard alert declared from Virginia to southern New Jersey, only the most adventurous, or best equipped, have been able to
Motorists have been advised to stay off the roads and dozens of flights have been cancelled.
Hundreds of thousands of people are without electricity in the Washington area as the wet and heavy snow brought down trees and power lines.
Experts said a severe cold front is on the way. It has already been dubbed “snowmageddon” or “snowpocalypse” and anticipated increased demand for energy pushed up natural gas prices .