Snow forecast is inching upward
Some areas could see up to 8 inches as storm slows and gains some strength
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.