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Baltimore County schools will open Thursday two hours late

Baltimore WeatherWinter Weather and BlizzardsNational Weather Service

After Baltimore County officials decided to close public schools Wednesday because of the snowstorm and frigid temperatures, they announced that school will resume on Thursday, starting two hours late.

On Tuesday, county officials posted on their Snow Fighter page at about 3:30 p.m. that road conditions were deteriorating, and that the nearly 500 county employees working in storm operations were being hindered by the snow and high winds.

Baltimore County said it would prioritize main roads until the storm was over. (Follow Snow Fighter, Winter Storm Operations for the latest information on snow updates and plow routes.)

County schools were off Tuesday for a professional development day, and were closed Wednesday because of the weather.

A winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service lasted until about 11 p.m. Tuesday.  A wind-chill advisory began about at 6 p.m. and was expected to last until noon Wednesday, meaning an increased risk of frostbite. 

The snow emergency plan was in effect, which means vehicles must be equipped with snow or radial tires, or chains. Parking is not allowed on designated snow emergency routes. 

The Bureau of Highways Snow Center will be open 24 hours during the storm and can be reached at  410-887-3560.  If you have a necessary non-emergency medical need, call 410-887-2222 for assistance.  In the event of an emergency, call 911.  

The snow began to fall Tuesday morning and fell into the evening, said National Weather Service meteorologist Carl Barnes.

“We are going to see the snow continue at a moderate and sometimes heavy range into late afternoon, early evening and then we’ll see it taper off into the night," National Weather Service meteorologist Carl Barnes said Tuesday morning. "It will probably stop a couple hours after sunset.”

Between six and eight inches of snow is expected to fall in southern Baltimore County, while eight to 10 inches is predicted for northern Baltimore County, Barnes said.

“We are expecting winds to kick up pretty good behind the storm," Barnes said. "Blowing snow will be a hazard. Even in situations where they do have the roads salted pretty good, the blowing snow will produce hazardous driving conditions.”

“Your best bet is to try to stay off the roads as much as you can, even if they are plowed they can still be dangerous,” he said.  "If you have to go out, wear a hat, gloves and a good jacket to keep yourself warm.”

Temperatures in northern Baltimore County are expected to drop below zero in some areas Tuesday night, while those in the southern part of the county will get down into the single digits, Barnes said.  

“All through the rest of the week, we’re expecting highs around 20 degrees," Barnes said. "It will stay cold for the rest of the week.  We’ll be starting to see more moderate temperatures this weekend." 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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