Bal­ti­more fi­nally gets snowy week­end

At least five inches on the ground; more ex­pected by this morn­ing, later in week

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Colin Camp­bell

Five inches of snow cov­ered Bal­ti­more in the first win­try week­end of 2019, with a few more inches ex­pected to fall be­fore the Mon­day morn­ing rush — and the loom­ing pos­si­bil­ity of more later this week.

Bal­ti­more, Howard, Anne Arun­del and Prince Ge­orge’s county pub­lic schools and the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park, among oth­ers, an­nounced they would be closed Mon­day, and of­fi­cials warned driv­ers to use cau­tion when nav­i­gat­ing wet and pos­si­bly icy roads.

Re-freez­ing snow on the thaw­ing pave­ment will pose the big­gest threat in the first half of the week, and a light snow Thurs­day evening could give way to an­other “mul­ti­day, heavy pre­cip­i­ta­tion event next week­end,” said Luis Rosa, a Na­tional Weather Ser­vice me­te­o­rol­o­gist, al­though it’s not yet clear when or how much.

More than 2,500 plows and other pieces of snow-re­moval equip­ment were dis­patched across the state to clear this week­end’s snow, ac­cord­ing to the State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion. Pave­ment tem­per­a­tures re­mained in the 20s and 30s, which is “the op­ti­mal range for salt ef­fec­tive­ness,” the agency said.

In Bal­ti­more, more than 400 trucks had been plow­ing and salt­ing city streets since about 4 p.m. Satur­day, and most pri­mary roads had been cleared as of Sun­day af­ter­noon, ac­cord­ing to the city Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion.

But on Fed­eral Hill, the fun wasn’t fin­ished.

Hun­dreds of sled­ding runs had packed the snow tightly on the hill’s rolling east side, fac­ing the Amer­i­can Vi­sion­ary Art Mu­seum, and while patches of grass and dirt could slow you down, it was plenty for a few rides down the side.

Abe­rina Kelly, 5, of Fed­eral Hill grinned in her pink-and-rain­bow win­ter hat and squealed down the hill in a red plas­tic sled — as­sisted by a push at the top from her fa­ther, Tim Kelly, while her brother, Taylen Allen, 2, stood nearby.

“Lean back!” Tim Kelly shouted after his daugh­ter as the sled picked up speed.

Her other brother, Tavon Allen, 5, trod his way back up the hill after a run, a blue saucer in his hand.

“I ran out of breath!” he gasped.

Wayne Bessling of Pasadena pulled blue re­flec­tive gog­gles over his eyes, slipped his feet into the straps of a snow­board and felt the rush of wind and adren­a­line as he ap­proached a makeshift ramp, a bump of hard-packed snow at a land­ing be­tween two down­hills.

The 17-year-old North­east High School stu­dent got some air, but his foot slipped from its strap and he bailed from the board, rolling part of the way down the hill.

“It’s the per­fect pack­ing weather,” he said, all smiles after­ward. “It’s per­fect snow for snow­balls, ramps and what­ever.”

Higher ac­cu­mu­la­tion to­tals than the ini­tial week­end fore­cast of 2 inches to 4 inches were due in part to a slow­ing of the storm in re­cent days, Rosa said.

Be­fore the storm, there had been only 1.4 inches of snow this sea­son at Bal­ti­moreWash­ing­ton In­ter­na­tional Thur­good Mar­shall Air­port, the Bal­ti­more re­gion’s point of record. All of that came in Novem­ber. There was not even a trace of De­cem­ber snow here for the first time since 2001, ac­cord­ing to weather ser­vice sta­tis­tics.

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.

Christina Heng and Jonathan Ko said they had been out sled­ding on Fed­eral Hill for about half an hour Sun­day. Or was it an hour? They had lost track of time.

Heng, 28, of Ridgely’s De­light tried out some makeshift snow­board­ing of her own on a flat sled closer to the bot­tom. While it looked like a long way to the top, she noted, grav­ity does most of the work.

“It’s much quicker go­ing down,” she said. Those opt­ing to stay in­side sac­ri­ficed a great time for warmth, said Ko, 27, of Elkridge.

“It’s per­fect,” he said. “They’re miss­ing out.”

COLIN CAMP­BELL/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Abe­rina Kelly, 5, of Fed­eral Hill is ready to go in her pink-and-rain­bow win­ter hat, as­sisted by a push at the top from her fa­ther, Tim Kelly, while her brother Taylen Allen, 2, watches.

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