In April, Trot­ting in Win­ter Won­der­land

Un­usual Cold Snap Drops 4 Inches of Snow, Can­cels Plans

The Washington Post Sunday - - The Region - By Ian Shapira

You couldn’t tell by scan­ning the fast- mov­ing traf­fic on Con­necti­cut Av­enue in the Dis­trict or glanc­ing at the pow­der- specked parks in Mont­gomery County. But the Wash­ing­ton area’s outer coun­ties did get sev­eral inches of snow yes­ter­day — es­pe­cially in parts of South­ern Mary­land, where four inches fell.

St. Mary’s County felt the brunt of the un­usual pre- Easter snow­fall. In Leonard­town, three to four inches ac­cu­mu­lated by yes­ter­day morn­ing, con­tribut­ing to four traf­fic ac­ci­dents. One re­sulted in the death of a man who was driv­ing along Jef­fer­son Street, ac­cord­ing to Sgt. Philip Joseph of the St. Mary’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice. The man’s iden­tity was not re­leased yes­ter­day.

Over­all, though, au­thor­i­ties said the re­gion’s roads were un­af­fected by the snow­fall, which melted quickly.

“ They didn’t even plow any of the roads. It stayed pretty clear,” said Scott Ra­ley, a su­per­vi­sor with the St. Mary’s County De­part­ment of Pub­lic Safety. Fore­cast­ers had pre­dicted three to five inches in the county, but, Ra­ley said, “ I don’t think any­body re­ally be­lieved we were go­ing to get much snow.”

One as­pect of the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice fore­cast was slightly off: It had pre­dicted that the Dis­trict and the re­gion’s in­ner coun­ties would get about one to two inches of snow yes­ter­day morn­ing, said Nikole Lis­temaa, a se­nior fore­caster with the Weather Ser­vice. But the vast ma­jor­ity of Mont­gomery and Prince Ge­orge’s coun­ties re­ceived snow­fall rang­ing from just un­der a third of an inch in Bowie to 1.3 inches in Ox- on Hill; and from nearly half an inch in Po­tomac to al­most an inch in Takoma Park.

Lis­temaa said the snow­fall de­vel­oped be­cause of a coastal low pres­sure sys­tem that moved up from the Caroli­nas.

To­day’s weather in the D. C. area is ex­pected to be partly sunny with a high of 49 de­grees. Typ­i­cal sunny April weather should re­turn by mid- week with tem­per­a­tures in the mid- to- up­per 50s and the lower 60s by Fri­day, Lis­temaa said.

In St. Mary’s, the snow forced peo­ple to scrap out­door plans. Eight of 20 peo­ple bailed on their camp­ing reser­va­tions yes­ter­day at Point Lookout State Park, which is by the Po­tomac River and the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay, ac­cord­ing to Blaire Ob­ney, an of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tor at the park. “ It was their de­ci­sion of course, but the weather was sup­posed to be bad, so I didn’t con­vince them to still come down,” Ob­ney said. “ They made the right choice. I wouldn’t come camp­ing.”

Over at the Bre­ton Bay Golf and Coun­try Club in Leonard­town, golfers had been an­tic­i­pat­ing the start of their an­nual, sin­gle- elim­i­na­tion tour­na­ment in­volv­ing 64 teams from var­i­ous clubs across the state. But snow blan­keted the greens, said Roger Welch, an as­sis­tant golf pro­fes­sional at the club.

“ We’re the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, so it’s a big deal to the club,” Welch said. “ Ev­ery­body was ready to go.”

One event, how­ever, did go ahead as planned.

The an­nual Martin Luther King Jr. Pa­rade was held in South­east Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day. Or­ga­niz­ers last year shifted the pa­rade from Jan­uary to April in hopes of warmer weather. They still didn’t get it, but pa­rade par­tic­i­pants and on­look­ers didn’t seem to mind.

“ Even though it started snow­ing a lit­tle bit, the pa­rade is much bet­ter in April than it would have been in Jan­uary,” said D. C. Coun­cil mem­ber Mar­ion Barry ( D-Ward 8), who had pro­moted the date change.

BY JAMES A. PARCELL FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

An Amish buggy trav­els Route 236 in Me­chan­icsville yes­ter­day. South­ern Mary­land re­ceived about four inches of snow dur­ing un­sea­son­able down­fall.

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