Winter's last gasp dropped 4 inches of snow in central and northern Harford

The winter of 2012-13 didn't quite give up the ghost earlier this week, dropping 3 to 4 inches of wet snow over a wide swath of Harford County on Monday morning, five days after the official start of spring.

In Bel Air, snow continued to fall throughout most of the daylight hours Monday. With temperatures dropping below freezing Monday night, some of the white stuff lingered on grassy areas and roofs into Tuesday morning, when bright sunshine and warmer temps promised to make it a fleeting memory.

For much of Monday morning, however, the snow was the real deal, falling quickly in the central and northern reaches of the county and forcing the cancellation of school in Harford County, as well as in neighboring Baltimore and Cecil counties.

The snow also made for some treacherous morning commuting. Harford County government offices opened two hours late on Monday morning and many evening meetings, including a session of the Harford board of education, were postponed. In Aberdeen, where less snow fell as with the rest of the southern tier of the county, the mayor and city council met as scheduled Monday night.

Crews with the county's Department of Public Works were out at 7 a.m. Monday salting and plowing local roads, Harford County government spokesman Bob Thomas said.

"By 9 a.m. most of the back streets had received treatment by either DPW crews or private contractors with the county, and were passable," Thomas said Monday afternoon.

"For the most part, the majority of the storm has passed and we're just dealing with wet, slushy roads," he said.

No major incidents

As the temperatures rose above freezing during the day Monday, much of the snow sticking to tree limbs and power lines fell to the ground, lessening the possibility of limbs dropping or falling onto power lines.

The online outage map operated by Baltimore Gas & Electric Company showed about a handful of the electric company's customers in Edgewood were without power as of around 6:30 p.m. Monday. The company reported just five outages from 100,000 customers Tuesday afternoon.

Delmarva Power's outage map showed no customers without power in the northern Harford County and western Cecil County portions of its service area.

With temperatures expected to drop below freezing across the area Monday night, the Harford Fire and EMS Association warned about the possible forming of black ice overnight on untreated roadways, particularly bridges and overpasses.

The storm caused few traffic issues in Harford County. Eddie Hopkins, spokesman for the Harford Sheriff's Office, wrote in an e-mail that only two accidents were reported Monday, and both involved only "property damage" to the vehicles.

Sgt. Cummins of the Maryland State Police's Bel Air Barrack said Tuesday traffic issues were "infrequent and minor," and PCO Hutchins of the JFK Memorial Highway Barrack in Perryville said there were no accidents or breakdowns to report along I-95 from Baltimore to the Delaware state line.

No serious fires were reported in the county from Monday morning into Tuesday morning.

The public information officer for the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company said paramedics from the company handled six emergency medical calls in the Joppa and Edgewood areas, as well as one in Belcamp and one in Kingsville, Baltimore County.  

"Fire crews have assisted the medical units on their calls and also responded to an activated carbon monoxide detector in Joppatowne," the fire company said in a media release.

Variation in snowfall

Andy Woodcock, meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office, said Monday's storm dropped 4.7 inches around the Kingsville area of western Harford and eastern Baltimore counties, about 4 inches around Norrisville and 3 inches around Whiteford in the northernmost corners of Harford.

Woodcock also said 3.7 inches of snow was recorded at Colora in western Cecil County; however, he noted the snow was less severe around the Aberdeen and Havre de Grace areas.

Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty said city crews salted areas of the road where slush had accumulated, and "everything was clear" before 9 a.m. He said the majority of snow accumulated on grassy areas.

Aside from local schools being closed, "everything went normally; we opened City Hall on time," Dougherty said.

Schools opened normally Tuesday in Harford and Cecil counties. April 3 will be a make-up day for Harford County students and April 19 will be a make-up day for Cecil students, according to the two school systems' websites.

By 2 p.m. Tuesday, the temperature in Bel Air had reached 48 degrees, with more warming in store through the rest of the week.

The National Weather Service forecast for the Bel Air area is for daytime temperatures again rising into the high 40s on Wednesday and Thursday and then into the low to mid 50s Friday and over Easter Weekend.

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