(Reuters) - A wintry mix of snow and sleet pelted the Northeast early Wednesday, making for a sloppy morning commute that snarled roadways but delighting schoolchildren with a surprise day off.
Up to six inches of snow fell from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts and Maine, while the New York City metropolitan area was glazed by sleet that turned to rain, said meteorologists on AccuWeather.com.
The brief storm offered a taste of the frigid conditions in store later this week when an arctic air mass from Canada is expected to roll into New England, said AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Snow on Wednesday cancelled classes or delayed school openings in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Collisions were reported on slick roadways in the New York metropolitan area.
Delays were reported at airports in Boston, Philadelphia and New York, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The National Weather Service forecast that the snow and freezing rain in New England would continue through the day.
Further south, freezing rain pelted the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys, while in the Southeast, heavy rain brought a risk of flash flooding from northern Alabama to southwestern Virginia, weather watchers said.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Chris Francescani and Nick Zieminski)