NEWBURY, N.H. (AP) - A storm promising lots of heavy snow moved quickly into northern New England on Wednesday morning, with up to 2 inches falling per hour.

The snow started before sunrise and quickly picked up in strength for the morning commute. Transportation departments in New Hampshire and Maine lowered highway speeds to 45 mph.

Many school districts closed for the day across the region, and traffic was light. Still, police urged drivers to take precautions and go slow.

"The roads are worse than you think," New Hampshire State Police Lt. Nicole Armaganian told WMUR-TV.

Some cars slid off the roads and visibility was reduced, but no major accidents were reported.

At the Mount Sunapee Resort ski area, the lot was filling up with skiers undeterred by a trek through the snow.

"A day like today to get out and play in the snow, it's fabulous!" said Kittie Wilson, who drove with her husband, John, from New London. Kittie Wilson expects plenty of company on the slopes.

"It's going to be really crowded, with kids out of school and the Wednesday special," she said, referring to a regular promotion permitting two to ski for the price of one.

Also psyched to hit the slopes was Ben LaPrade, a junior at Kearsarge Regional High School, which canceled classes.

LaPrade is looking forward to "shredding the powder," which is an uncommon and highly coveted condition in the frequently icy east.


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He said the last time he skied in conditions resembling powder was in December.

"We just haven't had that much snow," said LaPrade, of New London.

The snow was expected to taper off in the afternoon. When it's over, the southern half of New Hampshire could get 7 to 14 inches of snow. Maine could see 4 to 8 inches. Vermont is expected to get 5 to 10 inches.

Temperatures are expected to get into the 20s.