Snow fore­cast is inch­ing up­ward

Some areas could see up to 8 inches as storm slows and gains some strength

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

Me­te­o­rol­o­gists have re­vised their pre­dic­tions for this week­end’s snow up­ward and now fore­see 4 to 8 inches of ac­cu­mu­la­tion in Cen­tral Mary­land.

That’s be­cause they ex­pected the storm to be stronger and move more slowly than pre­vi­ously ex­pected, said Ray Martin, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the National Weather Ser­vice’s Bal­ti­more/Washington fore­cast of­fice.

While that sug­gests higher snow ac­cu­mu­la­tions, chances were also in­creas­ing that some sleet could fall in some areas, which would act to re­duce pre­cip­i­ta­tion to­tals.

“Given the many mov­ing parts, what we have out now will no doubt shift fur­ther, so keep close watch on the fore­cast,” Martin said.

Me­te­o­rol­o­gists be­gan nudg­ing up ear­lier pre­dic­tions of 2 inches to 4 inches of snow­fall Satur­day morn­ing, as some weather fore­cast­ing models be­gan sug­gest­ing a chance for per­haps a foot or more of snow­fall.

It was un­clear how re­li­able those last­minute pre­dic­tions could be.

“If they trend higher, we might have to up our amounts,” said Jeremy Geiger, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the National Weather Ser­vice’s Bal­ti­more/Washington fore­cast of­fice.

It was enough for the weather ser­vice to ac­knowl­edge that the storm’s po­ten­tial was in­creas­ing, sug­gest­ing a 10 per­cent chance of as much as 10 inches of snow for the Bal­ti­more re­gion.

That is twice as much as me­te­o­rol­o­gists had pre­dicted for the worst-case sce­nario a day ear­lier.

Most of the area is un­der a winter storm warn­ing last­ing through 6 p.m. Sun­day. Har­ford County and north­ern Bal­ti­more County were un­der a winter weather ad­vi­sory, with snow­fall ex­pected on the lower end of pre­dic­tions there.

Bal­ti­more City declared a Code Blue alert and opened shel­ters, the alert ex­tend­ing un­til 8 a.m. Mon­day.

Anne Arun­del and Har­ford county school sys­tems can­celed ac­tiv­i­ties sched­uled for today.

The heav­i­est pre­cip­i­ta­tion is fore­cast south and west of Bal­ti­more, but South­ern Mary­land is also where sleet is most likely to mix in, fore­cast­ers said.

South­ern Mary­land, the Washington re­gion in­clud­ing Prince Ge­orge’s and Mont­gomery coun­ties, and much of Vir­ginia and West Vir­ginia were also un­der winter storm warn­ings.

Tem­per­a­tures across the Bal­ti­more re­gion are fore­cast to drop to the up­per 20s early Sun­day morn­ing.

The storm was mov­ing through the Plains and Mid­west states Fri­day and Satur­day, fore­cast to move into the South­east and trans­fer its en­ergy to a low­pres­sure sys­tem along the south­ern At­lantic coast Sun­day.

The weather ser­vice me­te­o­rol­o­gists track­ing the storms across the coun­try are work­ing with­out pay dur­ing the gov­ern­ment shutdown, but ex­pect to be paid retroac­tively once the bud­get im­passe is re­solved.

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