A far-reaching winter storm expected to blast a large swath of the country is expected to hit the tri-state area late Wednesday morning, meteorologists say.
A wintry mix of wet, heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to break out across the tri-state Wednesday shortly before noon and continue into the evening commute north and west of I-287 and the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut.
In the city, the wintry mix is expected to change over to rain sometime before 4 p.m., though meteorologists say the rain/snow line continues to shift on computer models so the forecast is subject to change.
The National Weather Service has put Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange and Putnam counties in New York, along with Fairfield in Connecticut, under a winter storm watch from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning.
Meteorologists say areas along and north of I-84 could see 3 to 6 inches of accumulation, with up to 8 inches possible in higher elevation areas, by the time the storm moves out.
Residents along and north of I-287 and the Merritt Parkway should expect 1 to 3 inches, while those in the city and along the coast should expect nothing more than a slushy inch or two.
The city Department of Sanitation issued a "snow alert" for Wednesday, and said it was preparing for a coating to 1 inch. The move indicates that the department is readying its equipment and staff.
The worst of the wintry mix is expected to pelt the region Wednesday afternoon and evening, diminishing in intensity as the night wears on before tapering off completely Thursday morning.
Travelers are advised to expect airport delays Wednesday evening, and motorists are urged to use extreme caution during the commute. Early school dismissals are possible Wednesday north and west of the city, as are delayed openings Thursday.
Here's a look a brief look at your seven-day forecast:
TUESDAY: Sunny, dry and breezy, high of 47 degrees. Increasing clouds are expected overnight with a low of 34.
WEDNESDAY: A wintry mix of snow, ice and rain develops in the late morning and becomes heavier in the afternoon/evening. Poor evening commute. High of 40 in the city, high in 30s north of the city.
THURSDAY: Mixed showers of rain/wet snow taper off, high of 43.
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, mild, high of 50.
SATURDAY: Rain likely, high of 54.
SUNDAY: Breezy and dry, high of 47.
MONDAY: Briefly chilly, high of 42.
As always, check back with NBCNewYork.com for the latest forecasts, interactive radar and school closings.