Canadian travellers headed for the U.S. are in for a tough travel day Monday as winter storms cancelled thousands of flights at major airports in Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

More than 2,000 flights were cancelled and upwards of 200 were delayed early Monday, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com. Many of the cancellations are due to a winter storm system that’s dumping snow in some places and ice in others.

In Washington, school is cancelled, buses are halted and federal government workers are staying home as the U.S. capital braces for the 25 centimetres of snow that are forecast to fall. Almost every flight into and out of Ronald Reagan International Airport has been cancelled, including trips from Toronto and Montreal.

It's been a daunting winter for air travellers in the U.S. Airlines have cancelled more than 87,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, a record number.   

On the ground, life isn't much better for Washington-area residents coping with yet another heavy snowfall. 

"We're tired of it. We're sick of it," said Martin Peace, a web developer from the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va.

He and his wife were walking on the National Mall with their young daughter Sunday before the frigid weather blew in. Both bemoaned the number of snowy days this year.

"It's been hard with a baby being stuck in the house," said Nicole Peace, who works in human resources. "We don't really get the day off, but then we have to work from home with the baby, which is hard."

U.S. winter storm Washington Capital umbrellas

Washington is bracing to receive as much as 23 centimetres of snow on Monday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Philadelphia could see as much as 15 centimetres of snow, while parts of New Jersey could get up to 30 centimetres.

In Ohio, crews in Cincinnati were treating roads as a mix of freezing rain and snow fell late Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Patty Lee was among those braved treacherous conditions, driving some 30 kilometres from Cincinnati to suburban Blue Ash for a job interview. She joked that her first job test was making it through the icy parking lot without falling down.

"The roads are deteriorating pretty quickly," she said after returning to Cincinnati.

A suspension bridge over the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Kentucky was closed Sunday because of ice covering its hard-to-treat metal grid deck.

Freezing rain and sleet moved across Kentucky, making road travel treacherous Sunday. Officials warned residents to avoid unnecessary travel. Parts of the state could receive up to 20 centimetres of sleet and snow through Monday. Churches throughout the state cancelled services.

Parts of West Virginia could also get up to 30 centimetres of snow. That sent residents on a hunt for food, water and supplies.

Linda McGilton of Charleston said she tries to be prepared, but she also was not concerned.

"I don't try to panic. It doesn't do any good," McGilton of Charleston said as she unloaded a grocery cart outside the Kroger store.