We are facing a nearly 24-hour period of possible precipitation that will include rain and snow. The bulk of the snow will fall in a short period of time.
This is one of those storms that may seem like a bust at the start ("you call this a storm?") But when the rain changes over to snow, it will accumulate fast.
Road conditions on Wednesday will deteriorate quickly, while there are still a lot of people on the roads. The change from rain to snow may come during or just after the afternoon rush.
There are a couple of things that will limit the snow accumulation, so we won't get buried in another monster. Why? The blocking pattern in the North Atlantic is not there. It was in place for all our big storms last winter and the one in December. Without the blocking pattern, the storm will move quickly and will bring warmer air in ahead of it.
This storm does have a very intense center at high levels of the atmosphere. And since that center will move close to us, we will see the effects. Those systems lead to a lot of vertical motion in the atmosphere, which can lead to thunder snow in some areas.
Snowfall rates at the peak of Wednesday's storm should be 1-2 inches per hour, but the storm will be over well before the Thursday morning rush.
Of course, you’ll have to dig out of a good deal of snow before you head out. And since the storm will not be all snow for much of us, there could be a layer of ice under it, making it harder to shovel.