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Weather delays flights at area airports

Commuters wait for their trains in Mineola as

Commuters wait for their trains in Mineola as the LIRR is experiencing delays and cancellations due to a Monday night train derailment. (March 19, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Talk about March Madness.

With spring arriving Wednesday, Mother Nature took one last jab at Long Island and the surrounding metro area Monday evening and into Tuesday, dropping as much as 3.4 inches of snow overnight -- then turning the morning commute into an slushy, icy mess with the following rain.

Slick road conditions led to a handful of fender bender-type accidents in Nassau and Suffolk, authorities said.

Overcast skies led to delays of more than one hour on some flights into and out of LaGuardia, while there were scattered delays and cancellations at Kennedy and Newark Liberty, as well. There are minor delays at Long Island MacArthur. Officials suggest travelers consult their air carriers before heading to the airport.

The Long Island Rail Road was still attempting to regroup at noon from what was a tough travel morning. The railroad canceled 11 trains during the morning commute, with nine others delayed or rerouted, after the derailment of a nonpassenger train Monday night ne

The National Weather Service said early morning rain began to taper off after 6 a.m. Tuesday, and forecasters promised sunny skies Wednesday. But the weather service said 3.4 inches of snow fell overnight on Laurel Hollow, while 2.2 inches fell on Stony Brook, 1.5 on Upton and 1.2 on Islip.

Temperatures hovering just above the freezing mark in some places, with temperatures in the mid-30s in others, meant much of that snow disappeared as fast as it fell.

Subfreezing overnight temperatures late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning could, however, turn leftover precipitation into ice -- though temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s on Wednesday, the first official day of spring 2013. Some snow is possible again Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, according to the weather service.

In a special weather statement issued at 4:05 a.m. Tuesday, the weather service said a "light-to-moderate rain" will continue to move across the area through the remainder of the morning, with additional rainfall of between one-quarter and one-half inch expected.

"These totals, combined with the previously fallen half-an-inch to one-inch, as well as any melting snowfall from overnight, could lead to slippery conditions and ponding on the roadways," the weather service said, adding: "Drivers are asked to drive with caution during the morning commute."

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