HOUSTON -

Within 24 hours after the groundhog declared a longer winter, a major snowstorm hit the Northeast.

Snow fell at a rate of more than an inch an hour from Philadelphia to New York, and there is more to come as two more snowstorms arrive Tuesday, Wednesday and by the end of the week.

Snow kept piling up in the Northeast on Monday morning, forcing hundreds of schools and businesses to close for the day because driving was so dangerous.

The storm turned deadly in the Southern Plain. Three of nine people in a minivan were killed when they slid into a big rig on the icy Red River Bridge between Texas and Oklahoma.

Our stormy weather in southeast Texas Tuesday will transport moisture to the northeast joining with a larger system. The winter storm is expected to deliver nine to 12 inches of snow from the Midwest, to the Mid-Atlantic states and then into New England.

In Southeast Texas, Puxatawny Phil's forecast is getting mixed reviews.

"Oh, uh-uh! I don't like winter that much," said Reniquer, who was out shopping.

"Oh, I am fine with it. We haven't had a good, hard freeze, so maybe it will kill some mosquitoes," said Brad, another grocery shopper.

The National Weather Service isn't sold on the six-more-weeks-of-winter forecast.

"Maybe it's six more weeks of winter up in Pennsylvania, but I think we will probably start seeing some kind of warmup," explained Charles Roeseler, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston Office.

A former National Hurricane Center director, now member of the Local 2 Severe Weather Team, Bill Read, is at a national weather conference but says this about the groundhog's Groundhog Day forecast:

"Groundhog's Day is purely for entertainment and is fiction. Spring starts at the end of March. Depending where you are, some may be colder than normal and others may be warmer than normal."

Southeast Texas still could see arctic air in the coming weeks. The National Weather Service says the long-range models are showing a cold air outbreak around Valentine's Day.

The Climate Prediction Center has released its three-month outlook. It is forecasting a warmer than average March and April.