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State issues weather warning to drivers ahead of busiest travel days

File photo. Spencer Platt/Getty Images) (Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As the first winter storm of the season heads towards the Northeast ahead of Thanksgiving Day, officials are urging travelers to stay safe and plan ahead.

"While the State will be working around the clock during this storm to help keep our roadways free of snow and ice, I urge drivers to use extreme caution, put safety first, and plan accordingly to avoid roadways during poor weather," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from midnight tonight to 2 p.m. tomorrow for New York City, Hudson County, Southern Westchester County, coastal Southeastern Connecticut and Northern Middlesex County. Southeast winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 to 50 miles per hour are expected, strong enough to knock down trees and power lines.

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In addition, a winter storm warning has been issued for all of Western New York, and parts of the Finger Lakes region, Central New York, and the Adirondacks from mid-Tuesday afternoon through early Thursday morning, where some areas could see up to a foot of snow.

State officials warned motorists to steer clear of snow plows on the road, which travel at slower than 35 miles per hour and have limited sight distances. Drivers are urged to drive slowly and plan for extra travel time.

Those traveling upstate should equip their cars with sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes, officials said.

The worst weather is expected late Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Weather officials say heavy winds in the tri-state region could force airlines to cancel or delay flights during those two days.

Travelers can use FlightAware.com to track their flights. Experts also advise passengers to check their airlines on policies for changing their flights.

 
 
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