As much of the continental United States is digging its way out of a destructive winter storm, New York City's brief and mild reprieve is poised to come to an abrupt end. According to the latest models, the city could see anywhere from four inches to a foot of snow on Thursday, likely accompanied by a generous heaping of sleet and freezing rain.

The latest in our increasingly busy February snow season comes courtesy of a low pressure system in the southeast US, which is set to collide with a polar vortex whirring to our north. While there's still some uncertainty about the storm, confidence is increasing in a "moderate to heavy snow event" starting on Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The heaviest stuff is expected to come down in the early afternoon, turning tomorrow's commute into an almost certain mess (beware the pendulous sacks). Forecast models reviewed by New York Metro Weather suggest that the snow will taper off in the evening, potentially mixing with "sleet and freezing drizzle," before returning for a second round on Friday morning. Isolated snow showers are also possible on Saturday afternoon.

The total accumulation will depend on the extent of that mixing. The NWS is pegging those totals at 4 to 8 inches, an increase from the previous forecasts this week. The North American Mesoscale Forecast System (NAM) is more bullish, suggesting there could be more than a foot of snow in the region. The CBS2 Weather Team is sticking with the more conservative estimate, but adding that "this has the potential to put a foot or more of snow down."

Either way, travelers should expect hazardous conditions. The Department of Sanitation will hold a briefing at 3 p.m. on Thursday, so stay tuned for updates from the salt shed.

The first day of spring is M̶a̶r̶c̶h̶ ̶2̶0̶t̶h̶,̶ ̶2̶0̶2̶1̶ never.