BALTIMORE — Winter returns to Central Maryland with a sloppy and slushy mess expected for your Saturday ahead. This storm system will bring a variety of precipitation troubles from snow to rain and even some minor icing concerns across portions of the area during the duration of the event
Winter Weather Advisories are in place for every county across our area with the exception of Anne Arundel, Caroline, Cecil, Talbot, Queen Anne's and Kent counties through early Saturday evening for the potential of slick travel due to snow and ice. Snowfall rates look to be at 1-1.5" per hour creating havoc on the morning and early Saturday afternoon commute.
From 6am Saturday through 4pm looks to be the worst of the weather. Moderate snow will transition over the heavy sleet and freezing rain with plain rain south. Temperatures will hover at or slightly above freezing in most locations with the exception of the far northern and western suburbs of Baltimore Saturday.
These are the areas that are likely to see the highest of impacts especially on those untreated surfaces. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain come to an end after 9pm Saturday with skies slowly clearing. Lows will fall back to around 32 degrees with winds out of the southwest gusting to 25 mph into early Sunday morning. Winds will get stronger throughout the day out of the west gusting upward of 30-40 mph dragging in colder air.
POTENTIAL SNOW/ ICE TOTALS
Here is where the word "complex" plays into the forecast. A variety of precipitation and temperatures above 32 degrees make totals hard to pin down. Our best guess suggest that much of the area will see a quick slushy coating-1" of snow before the system departs around 8pm.
Our northern counties such as Frederick, Carroll, northern Baltimore, Washington, and northern Harford could receive 1-2" with localized pockets of 3-4". Roads could be slick despite the road temps being above freezing thanks to the heavy snowfall rates under the most intense bands. Even with that said salt should be effective here because the actual snowfall ratio is very wet instead of fluffy.
Western Maryland should remain all snow and ice with cold air during the entirety of the event. Most locations from Cumberland to Oakland look to pick up a good 1-3" of snow. I-68, US-219, and I-70 will remain slick in spots throughout the day before improving later on. These areas could pick up additional snow accumulation come Sunday as snow squalls and upslope snow showers move through.
In the Baltimore metro area and Eastern Shore this is mostly a rain and sloppy slushy type of evening. Most locations in and along I-95 will see a coating-1" of snow with spots like Catonsville, Pimlico, and Druid Hill, and Columbia picking up at least an inch. The higher you are in elevation the better chance you have getting close to 1-2" of snow. Snow exits these areas after 8pm with some leftover icy patches overnight. Snow squall activity will also be an issue here on Wednesday too so prepare accordingly.
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