national weather service winter snow ice feb 7

(National Weather Service)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- A burst of snow, sleet, and rain is hitting New England Wednesday, threatening to make a mess of the evening commute.

Areas of eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, are under a Winter Weather Advisory until 6 p.m. 

AccuWeather forecasts 1-3 inches falling in and around Boston--but that snow had already changed to sleet and rain by early afternoon.

Areas north and west of 495 are expected to see 3-6 inches.

The speed limit on the Mass Pike has been reduced to 40 mph from the state line to Interchange 11.

The National Weather Service said to expect "very slippery conditions on untreated surfaces," as temperatures will drop in the evening and, in areas below the rain-snow line, surfaces may ice over.

MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said drivers should be prepared to encounter "a little bit of everything," from snow and slush to ice. 

"Any road salt we have on the roadway, if there's a downpour of any kind, it's going to wash that road salt off very quickly and it becomes ineffective," he said. "That leads to a freezing roadway condition. If you're going to be driving, it's going to be a very difficult commute."

Low temperatures later will cause that rain to freeze.

"We're expecting there to be a deep freeze coming in," he said. "We're concerned about freezing rain and a flash freeze ... icing can happen really quickly."

He advised commuters to keep an eye on the forecast, and to stay off the roads if possible.

The low Wednesday night is expected to be around 22-26.

Thursday will be breezy and cold with a high of 33.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kendall Buhl reports