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Return holiday traffic contends with hazardous roads in areas

Boxing Day has traditionally been the busiest day for travelling back home from holiday destinations in Finland. This year traffic will be complicated by poor road conditions in central and eastern areas. A new front of precipitation is forecast to move in from the west tonight.

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Image: Derrick Frilund / Yle

A front of rain, sleet and snow moved through central and eastern Finland overnight, making roads slippery and unsafe for returning holiday traffic in some areas. The regions of Savo and Karelia were the worst affected.

Representatives of the Tampere region’s road traffic centre expect the number of cars on the road to reach its highest point at around noon.

"Return traffic will continue until 7 pm or so, maybe a bit later, depending on the driving conditions. I doubt there will be any congestion on the main motorways, as many people have probably taken the days between Christmas and New Year off," says the region's traffic monitor Marko Nuutinen.

The drive back home will be trickier for residents of areas that received fresh snow and sleet.

"There have been poor driving conditions in several areas since late Christmas Day, when a new front of precipitation started moving eastwards across the country. For example, the southeast city of Kouvola got a lot more snow this morning, so roads are treacherous there," says Nuutinen.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute warns of hazardous roads in the regions of Central Finland, North and South Savo, and North and South Karelia. It also forecasts a new front of precipitation for this evening, moving in over the country from the west.

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