As colder air seeps in from the north and west, a swath of snow and wintry mix causing slippery travel will develop from central Missouri to upstate New York prior to the weekend.
A series of storms will roll out from the Southwest through next week with multiple rounds of snow.
One of these storms will spread snow and ice along a swath reaching along the I-70 corridor from Missouri to southwestern Pennsylvania and over part of the I-80 and I-90 corridors from Indiana to northern Ohio, northern Pennsylvania and upstate New York.
The snow will hit the Midwestern states first Thursday into Friday and will expand into the central Appalachians Thursday night into Friday night.
Within this zone, a general 1 to 6 inches of snow is forecast with local amounts up to 8 inches possible.
The cities forecast to receive accumulating snow include St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Albany, N.Y.
A narrow zone of ice is likely to overlap and occur south of the accumulating snow area. A delay in or a more shallow push of cold air could mean the difference between rain, significant ice and accumulating snow in some communities.
The worst of the ice storm is expected to focus from central Kentucky to northeastern Texas. Enough ice can accumulate on trees and utility lines in these areas over several days to cause blocked roads and regional power outages.
Rain is forecast to fall over the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston as the first of the storms slices northeastward Friday into Saturday.
Another storm in the series will cause snow, ice and rain to reload over the South Central states this the weekend before rolling toward the Northeast.