Snow squalls explained: What you need to know as an Arctic front moves in

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Cold temperatures and wind will settle in Wednesday, and some areas will even see a gusty snow squall in the middle of the day.

Meteorologist Lee Goldberg says an Arctic front moving our way could bring a couple snow squalls around the lunch hour.

Often referred to as a whiteout, a "snow squall" is a sudden, moderately heavy snowfall that blows snow and strong surface winds, suddenly reducing visibility, AccuWeather explains.

Though the snow accumulation is not typically significant because they are so brief, snow squalls can create dangerous driving conditions due to visibility issues and quickly-forming ice.

Snow squalls actually have similarities to the types of thunderstorms you usually see in the summer, AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno explained.

"A snow squall is similar to a summertime thunderstorm in that it can have heavy bouts of precipitation in a short period of time and strong, gusty winds," he said, "except instead of getting rain, you're getting snow. And when you get heavy snow and wind, you could reduce visibility and make roads a sheet of ice in minutes."

After the squalls move through the area, bitter cold will follow into Thursday.

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