Chicago (Agencies): One of the worst winter snowstorms has hit nearly half of the United States of America burying parts of the midwest under 20 inches of snow and causing at least 12 deaths.

The snowfall that started on Wednesday continued for a second day, covering the northeasrtern US states under a blanket of white.

Blizzard warnings have been declared throughout the affected regions, as snow is piling up for more than 60 cms in many places. Chicago had 51 cm of snow, the third-largest recorded in the city. In New York's Central Park, pathways resembled skating rinks.

The blizzard brought life to a standstill for many with hundreds of cars stranded, many major roads closed, flights cancelled, buses, airports and rail lines closed.

Schools were shut down as it was declared a "snow day".

The winter storm has produced heavy snow in almost two-thirds of the United States.

The National Weather Service declared - "Crippling and potentially killer blizzard to continue to this morning".

According to the National Weather Service, though most of the snow has ended across the central and southern Midwest, snow continues today across the upper Midwest including Wisconsin, Michigan, and northern Iowa/Illinois/Indiana where blizzard warnings are in effect.

Heavy Snow is expected across Northern New England and Upstate New York, freezing rain across Southern New England.

Deep cold will also prevail on Thursday across the majority of the central US, with Wind Chill Advisories and freeze warnings everywhere east of the Rockies to the Mississippi river from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Border, it added.

For Chicago this is the worst storm after 1999. It was the third largest snow storm to hit Chicago with 20.2 inches at O'Hare International Airport behind 23 inches in 1967 and 21.6 inches in 1999.

 

 

READ MORE: Cyclone Yasi wreaks havoc in Queensland