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Coming storm could 'pack a pretty good punch'

Winter Weather and BlizzardsBaltimore WeatherNew York WeatherHurricane Sandy (2012)

Storm trackers are continuing to refine their predictions for a nor'easter set to strike Maryland later this week, calling for strong rain and wind on Wednesday — most heavily along the Eastern Shore — and possibly snow on Thursday.

"We're not looking at Sandy-type numbers, but it looks like this thing could pack a pretty good punch," said Steve Goldstein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, about what residents can expect from the storm on the heels of superstorm Sandy's pounding.

Two separate disturbances in the upper atmosphere are set to drop down quickly from Canada and move east out of the Ohio Valley, colliding off the coast of the Carolinas Tuesday night and forming the storm, Goldstein said.

The systems will keep temperatures in the Baltimore area low through the next few days, with highs in the 40s and overnight temperatures below freezing.

The amount of rain and the strength of winds brought by the storm will depend on its track north.

Models on Sunday showed the storm moving along the Eastern seaboard and dumping two inches of rain on parts of the Eastern Shore Wednesday, with an inch or less of rain in Baltimore and other parts of the state, Goldstein said.

"But if it comes a little bit farther west, we'll see those two-inch rainfalls here in Baltimore and D.C.," he said.

Low temperatures in Baltimore on Thursday could mean snow as the system continues to move out of the area, he said.

If the storm holds to a more western track Thursday, it would also strike areas of New Jersey and New York devastated by Sandy.

"Sadly, New Jersey and New York will get more heavy rain, more storm surge — exactly what they don't need," Goldstein said.

In Garrett County, which Sandy buried in about two feet of snow, residents could see "some upslope snow and some winds and just some nasty weather," Goldstein said. But they'll be spared the brunt of the storm, he said.

krector@baltsun.com

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Winter Weather and BlizzardsBaltimore WeatherNew York WeatherHurricane Sandy (2012)
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