A multi-faceted storm will deliver snow or a change from rain to snow and cause disruptions to travel and daily activities over a large part of the Midwest during Wednesday and Thursday.
Gusty winds will accompany the rain and snow from the storm. The combination of wind and precipitation will result in poor visibility for motorists and will lead to airline delays. Wind gusts could be strong enough in some communities to cause sporadic power outages from the Midwest to the Atlantic Seaboard.
Since the storm will track west of the Appalachians, the swath that receives all or mostly snow from the storm will develop in parts of Missouri and will expand over portions of Illinois, Indiana and lower Michigan.
While Chicago and St. Louis will likely be spared the worst of the storm, enough snow could fall to make roads slushy and slippery. Also, if the storm track shifts westward shift by 50-100 miles, then heavier snow could fall in Chicago.
"The heart of the snowstorm will unfold from east-central Illinois and extend northeastward into southern Ontario and Quebec," According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
Cities that are likely to be hit by 6 inches of snow or more and more substantial travel disruptions include Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Detroit, Lansing, Flint and Bay City, Michigan.
The heavy rate of snow and gusty winds can produce whiteout conditions in some locations.
Motorists should expect expect difficult travel and the potential for road closures along portions of Interstate 65, I-69, I-70, I-75 I-80/90, I-94 and I-96, to name a few.
Farther to the east, higher temperatures will result in rain during the first part of the storm. However, as colder air seeps in from the west, rain will change to snow over portions of the Ohio Valley, the lower Great Lakes and the western slopes of the central Appalachians.
The change to snow will occur Wednesday night from Louisville and London, Kentucky, to Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Cleveland.
In portions of southern Illinois, southern Indiana and western Tennessee, the wintry travel will occur during all or part of the Wednesday afternoon and evening commute. Road conditions during this time can transition from wet to slushy and snow-covered in an hour or less. Brief whiteouts are possible in this area as well.
During Thursday, cities that will receive some snow from the storm include Bristol, Tennessee; Charleston, West Virginia; Cleveland; Pittsburgh; and Buffalo, New York. Up to a few inches of wet snow can fall in these areas.
"The Thursday morning commute [over much of the Ohio Valley and southern Great Lakes region] will be hazardous and residents should exercise caution, if they must head out," According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliot.
Meanwhile, as the storm brings rain, snow and strong winds to the Northern states, a severe weather outbreak, including tornadoes will sweep eastward and threaten lives and property across the South.
The risk of severe thunderstorms may extend as far north as parts of Tennessee and Kentucky.