ALBANY, N.Y. — Hundreds of schools were closed and more than 160,000 customers were without power today in the Northeast as a storm that’s expected to “sit and spin” brought wet, heavy snow to some areas that have had a relatively snowless winter until now.

Nearly two feet of snow fell outside Albany, according to the National Weather Service, which expected another 2-4 inches to fall by the end of the day. Forecasters said today’s storm would be followed by another expected to start Thursday and dump a foot or more on some areas by Friday, accompanied by high winds. Meteorologists said some areas of New York’s Adirondack and Catskill mountains and Vermont’s Green Mountains could get as much as 2 feet by the weekend.

“The storm really isn’t going to go away quickly,” said meteorologist Hugh Johnson of the weather service’s Albany office. “It might sit and spin for a few days. It might not be until early next week that we get rid of the storm completely.” The storm began Tuesday and caused numerous accidents on New York interstate highways in the Hudson Valley, but state police said no serious injuries were reported.

The storm ended a long stretch without a major snowfall in eastern New York and northern New England, which had been spared from much of the severe weather that socked the mid-Atlantic with several feet of snow in recent weeks.

Due to a forecast that calls for significant snowfall in the metropolitan region, many carriers have already begun canceling flights, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said on its Web site today.

Travelers were advised to check with their airline before departing for the airport.