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Slick travel, delays to continue through Saturday evening across Northeast

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 18, 2016, 1:02:19 AM EST

    A winter storm is wreaking havoc on travel across the Northeast and will continue to do so through Saturday evening.

    A messy mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain continues to spread across several states in the Northeast. For some, this is the first accumulating snow or sleet of the season.

    During much of Saturday, motorists will face slow and slippery travel from the northern mid-Atlantic states through New England. Road conditions will range from snow-covered to slushy or wet.

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    Substantial airline delays are likely with the potential for a significant number of flight cancellations. Maintenance personnel will have to deice aircraft and clean snow from runways. Airline crews and aircraft may be displaced because of the vast expanse of the storm from the Rockies to the Midwest and Northeast.

    Warmer air will flow in quickly later on Saturday and Saturday night in coastal and southern areas, as well as locations west of the Appalachians. However, a wedge of chilly air may remain in the central and northern Appalachians, causing an extended period of ice. These areas will be at greatest risk for trees and power lines coming down.

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    Travel conditions will improve from south to north on Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning. However, some problems will remain. Locally gusty winds are possible in coastal areas. Areas of fog are possible as well.

    "Areas along the I-95 corridor that had snow and/or ice will become a sloppy mess with slush and perhaps street flooding," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

    By Sunday morning, most areas in the Northeast will have warmed up enough for rain to fall. However, another wave of arctic air will begin to push across the Appalachians during the afternoon.

    Cold air could catch up with the rain fast enough to bring a change to sleet and snow in the Appalachians during Sunday.

    Regardless of whether or not a change to wintry weather occurs on the back end, untreated areas of slush and standing water will freeze by Sunday evening over the mountains and along the Atlantic coast on Sunday night.

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