More than 2,000 flights have already been cancelled Tuesday in the United States given the weather forecasts for a new snowstorm that is to sweep down into the eastern part of the country.

Federal agencies, international organizations and schools closed their doors in Washington in anticipation of heavy snow all during the day, and salt trucks have sprinkled their cargo on downtown streets to prevent ice from forming there.

The National Weather Service said that between 7 and 22 cm (2.75 - 8.5 inches) of snow will fall in the states of Virginia, West Virginia and Massachusetts.

Chicago's international airport has already cancelled about 5 percent of its flights, while in Washington and New York the cancellations are on the order of 25 percent, according to the specialized air traffic Internet site flightaware.com.

At the Philadelphia international airport, meanwhile, Southwest Airlines is scheduled to suspend its operations at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, CNN reported.

Even the agenda of President Barack Obama has been affected by the bad weather and he has had to postpone one of the meetings he had scheduled for today, the White House said.

In the coming days, temperatures will fall dramatically and expectations are for below-zero chill in the country's main eastern cities.

This is the third big snowstorm to hit the eastern United States so far this year, after the storm dubbed Hercules brought the so-called polar vortex far south into the United States two weeks ago resulting in record low temperatures in a number of spots in the Midwest. EFE