Winter is going out with a mid-March roar.

After a few days spring temperatures, the city awoke Friday to a wintry mess of snow, icy roads, treacherous commutes and a winter storm warning with forecasts of an angry Nor'easter on the way.

Temperatures had dropped to below freezing by 9:30 a.m., meaning snow and sleet will begin to accumulate on most surfaces and that roads will likely get worse leading up to the evening commute. Forecasters predicted 1-2 two inches by mid-morning, 3-5 by afternoon and 4-8 by this evening.

City officials suspended alternate side parking rules because of anticipated snow removal.

Traffic on the rails was running on or close to schedule, but those traveling by car battled icy roadways littered with accidents while air travelers faced flight cancellations and major delays.

JetBlue canceled 215 flights to prevent any problems similar to those during the last big storm when dozens of passengers were stuck on the tarmac for up to 11 hours and canceled flights stranded hundreds more at the airport for a week.

The cancellations affected about one-third of all JetBlue flights. More than 200 of them involved flights to or from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, said airline spokesman Sebastian White.

He said a few flights also were affected at New York's LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, and Boston's Logan International Airport.

There were 15-30 minute delays for other airlines at JFK, La Guardia and Newark and Continental flights at Newark were delayed up to 3 hours.

Motorists battled slick roads Friday morning with scattered accidents and some traffic jams - but it's the evening commute that could cause real problems as temperatures drop to the upper 20s and the Nor'easter moves in.

Friday's major storm will hit after nearly a week of temperatures as high as 70 in Manhattan.

St. Patrick's Day parade-goers should brace for a day of wind-whipped revelry. There may be some snow and sleet Saturday morning, but the temperatures in the mid-30s are set to feel much colder with wind gusts of up to 30 mph.

But the cold snap is set to end by early next week. The mercury is predicted to jump back into the 50s by Tuesday.

It may seem unusual to the average person, Cristantello said, but meteorologists see the same thing every year in March, when the sun shines more direct light on the Northern Hemisphere and disrupts winter weather patterns.

"It is crazy weather, but it's not unheard of," Cristantello said.