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Dangerous travel conditions in Northeast on busiest travel day of the year

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Travelers going to and from the Northeast on Wednesday could wind up battling wintry weather.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has long been denoted as one of the busiest travel days of the year, with people going near and far to reach loved ones for the holiday.

While much of the country will experience dry or quiet travel conditions on Wednesday, the Northeast could be an exception.

The swath of snow will stretch from the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes on Tuesday night through much of the Northeast on Wednesday.

“The biggest concern for snow squalls will be from southeastern Ontario in Canada to central and western New York and northern and western Pennsylvania,” said meteorologist Brian Thompson.

Communities such as Erie and State College, Pennsylvania, as well as Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton, New York, are among the most likely to see squalls of snow. Snow squalls can be explained as the wintertime equivalent of summertime thunderstorms, bringing intense bursts of snowfall to a small area.

Because of this, both road conditions and visibility can change rapidly, impacting drivers on the roads for Wednesday.

“Given that Wednesday is a busy travel day, motorists traveling along I-80, I-90, I-79 and I-86 will want to stay alert for rapidly deteriorating conditions,” added Thompson.

In addition to secondary roadways, parts of I-81 and I-87 could all experience a heavier burst of snow.

This wave of snow will not only bring tricky travel conditions, but it will also open up the door for arctic air to enter the Northeast just in time for Thanksgiving.

Temperatures will plummet Wednesday night across the Northeast, setting up the coldest Thanksgiving in years for many in the Northeast.

The sudden drop in temperature will cause any melted snow or wet areas to refreeze, creating slick conditions on untreated surfaces.