East Coast travelers: Get ready for a nasty day Thursday

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(CNN) -- To anyone trying to commute on the East Coast on Thursday: Sorry in advance for your miserable experience.

It doesn't matter if you're traveling by plane, train or automobile; if you live between North Carolina and Boston, expect up to a foot of fresh snow outside your window and the inevitable delays that will come along with it.

In the sky: Tons of flurries, not so many flights

More than 4,200 flights have been canceled within, into or out of the United States for Thursday, according to FlightAware.com. The airports in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey, are taking the biggest hits.

And more 250 flights will be grounded at Washington's Reagan National Airport alone.

With more than 3,400 flights canceled from Wednesday, that means the familiar scene of stranded, weary passengers roaming around airports will only get worse.

On the rails: Amtrak cutting back

If you were planning to travel long-distance by train, it's time to make other arrangements.

Amtrak said at least six long-distance routes along the East Coast have been canceled since Wednesday.

Several shorter routes will be running less often or on modified schedules Thursday, including those between Washington and Boston, Boston and Virginia, New York to Albany and New York to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

In the car: Don't do it

Take a lesson from Atlanta's debacle two weeks ago and Charlotte's fiasco on Wednesday -- cars and ice don't play well together.

Yes, those who live farther up the East Coast can handle ice better than their Southern neighbors. But this isn't just a little precipitation coming.

"This is going to happen up and down the East Coast. New York, Philadelphia, DC, Richmond, same story -- it's going to snow hard," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

"You could get six inches in a couple of hours, and then it's going to rain on top of it, sleet on top of that, and then snow comes back in because cold air comes in behind it."

Washington was already getting pummeled with snow late Wednesday night. Lucky for government employees there, they don't have to go work tomorrow. Federal offices will be closed Thursday in Washington.