A swath of snow will quickly cause slippery travel across the Plains and Midwest and could join up with a southern storm to drop snow in the Northeast into Thursday.
The snow is associated with another push of arctic air and an Alberta Clipper storm.
The greatest amount of snow from the pattern into Thursday will fall centered on Iowa and the eastern slopes of the central and northern Rockies, where 6 inches or more can fall in some locations.
This includes Denver, Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Des Moines, Iowa. Up to a few inches of snow will fall on Billings, Montana, Omaha, Nebraska, and Rapid City, South Dakota.
The snow on Thursday along the Rockies will precede a large storm forecast to hit the West Friday into the weekend.
Just enough snow can fall on Kansas City, Missouri, Chicago and St. Louis to make travel slippery and trigger flight delays on Wednesday night into Thursday.
Intermittent snow will spread to Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh during Thursday with the potential for slippery roads and sidewalks.
As the clipper storm moves into the Northeast, it will tug on the southern snowstorm.
According to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "The storm could help pull the southern storm northward enough to spread accumulating snow into the northern mid-Atlantic coast."
An inch or so of snow is forecast around Washington, D.C. It is possible a similar snowfall or enough to make roads slippery will extend to Philadelphia and near the New York City area on Thursday.
Since temperatures will rebound slightly ahead of the next arctic push, much of the snow that falls during the midday and afternoon hours in the coastal Northeast would tend to melt on most major roads that have been treated.
Roads could be slippery for the Thursday morning commute from part of northern Virginia and eastern Maryland to southern New Jersey and Long Island.
Snow showers can bring a light coating of snow in the central Appalachians on Thursday.
In the wake of the snow, the blast of arctic air will sweep from the Midwest to the Northeast for the balance of the week.
The new surge of cold can challenge daily record lows and could place February 2015 as one of the coldest Februarys on record.