Harford County is bracing for another round of winter weather that could produce the heaviest snowfalls this year.

The area is under a winter storm watch from 7 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday, as a snow storm moving up from the South is expected to drop at least 5 inches, and probably more than 8 inches, of snow on the East Coast.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service was forecasting 8 to 10 inches of snow and sleet for the northern Harford area and 6 to 8 inches closer to the I-95 corridor.

A small area along the Pennsylvania border could get 10 to 14 inches. There are also computer models forecasting about 20 inches in some places.

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The ultimate track of the storm will depend on the merging of a Canadian system with one coming from the Southeast, leaving some forecasters qualifying their predictions with notes of caution until closer to when the storm arrives.

Temperatures were projected in the mid- to upper-20s Wednesday night, slowly rising into the mid-30s by Thursday afternoon.

Snow may mix with sleet and rain throughout Wednesday night and Thursday.

Heavy, wet snow could lead to power outages, according to the National Weather Service.

The county's emergency management department announced Tuesday afternoon it would activate to Level 1 staffing Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Slippery Sunday

A burst of snow just before dark Sunday hampered drivers, as roads quickly got slippery.

The National Weather Service had called for an inch or two of snow for the area north of Baltimore, and some Harford residents reported up to an inch of snow falling in the span of an hour, turning many roads treacherous.

Harford County Public Schools opened two hours late Monday; Harford County government opened on time.

The county's emergency services department reported 13 calls for accidents within 45 minutes by about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company reported a crash with multiple vehicles at Route 152 and Old Mountain Road at about 6 p.m.

Aberdeen Police also reported an accident on West Bel Air Avenue at 5:08 p.m.

"Tell people to slow down," Bob Thomas, emergency services spokesman, said via e-mail. "Roads are covered in slush and snow - very slippery."

He said public works crews had been treating roads and plowing when necessary since about 5:30 p.m.  

Havre de Grace had about an inch of snow by 5 p.m., about an hour after snow began falling, while Fallston had 1 1/2 inches at about 5:40 p.m.

BGE crews meanwhile wrapped up the last of the power outages remaining after Wednesday's ice storm that left thousands of Harford homes and businesses without power.