In Seattle, Washington, 18 passengers and seven Alaska Airlines crew members received medical treatment after inhaling fumes that leaked into the cabin during de-icing.

Power cuts

Parts of the US also lost power supply in the storms and multiple car accidents were reported across the country - including a Wisconsin car crash that killed a woman and her seven-month-old child.

The US National Weather Service said the northwest of the country, which has already seen near-record levels of snowfall over the past week, was bracing itself for another storm expected to bring up to half a metre of snow.

Almost 64 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday period, either by road, air or rail.

Meanwhile, in Canada, meteorologists are predicting the first coast-to-coast white Christmas since 1971.

Holiday travellers were also stranded in Vancouver on Wednesday as Air Canada was forced to cancel short and medium-distance flights out of the city because of snow storms.

Another 10 centimetres of snow fell in Vancouver on Wednesday, after the city had been blasted by snow storms two days earlier.