During the short-term prediction period, several locations throughout the nation will be affected by widespread snowy precipitation and freezing temperatures.
A severe cold front moving east across the nation is expected to bring snow, sleet, and freezing rain from New England to south Texas. Light snow showers may persist overnight Wednesday over parts of the Great Lakes east to northern New England, starting in the north.
More substantial snowfall is expected to begin in the Ohio Valley overnight Wednesday and extend east to the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England Thursday morning.
While snowfall totals are expected to be between 1-2 inches in most areas, the snow is expected to fall swiftly and disrupt the Thursday morning commute, especially in large cities along the I-95 corridor.
Rain and thunderstorms will continue to fall throughout the Southeast and Gulf Coast as the cold front moves south. Localized heavy rain of 1-2 inches is likely, but low rainfall rates and fast-moving storms will keep the risk of flooding to a minimum.
As cooler air comes in behind the front Thursday evening, the threat for ice from the Tennessee Valley south to the Gulf Coast and southern Texas will become more significant.
While totals are forecast to be minimal, with merely a glaze in most regions, the ice may cause treacherous roadways, especially bridges.
Meanwhile, behind the front, bitter cold will spread throughout most of the central and eastern United States.
On Thursday, highs will be in the single digits in the Upper Midwest, the teens and 20s across the Northeast and Central Plains, and the 30s and 40s over the Carolinas and western Gulf Coast.
Highs in the teens and 20s will be typical in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Friday, while highs in the 40s will spread east along the Gulf Coast outside the Florida Peninsula.
Wind chill advisories are still in force for Thursday morning from the Northern High Plains east to the Upper Mississippi Valley, with lows anticipated in the negative teens and 20s with strong winds.
Lows will be in the mid-20s and low 30s for most places outside of the lower Rio Grande Valley on Friday morning, prompting a Freeze Watch for parts of South Texas.