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Forecasters lowering expectations for nor'easter impact

By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

5:20 PM EST, November 7, 2012

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Forecasters are lowering expectations of a nor'easter's impact in Maryland, canceling a winter weather advisory for northern Baltimore and Harford counties as of 5 p.m.

The advisory was in effect through 1 a.m. Thursday, with an inch of snow expected. The advisory previously included Baltimore City, southern Baltimore and Carroll counties and extended through the night to 6 a.m. Thursday. Cecil and Kent counties remain under a winter weather advisory.

But the storm has tracked slightly more east than expected, and with a tight gradient of precipitation on its west side, the moisture isn't reaching further west than the Delmarva peninsula and northeastern Maryland, said Jared Klein, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

National Weather Service precipitation forecasts, which have fluctuated in recent days, are now calling for no more than an inch of snow in the northernmost parts of Baltimore and Harford counties.

Warm soil and pavement is expected to prevent significant accumulation, but the advisory warns roads could become snow covered and slippery late Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The State Highway Administration warned drivers to prepare for longer than normal evening commutes earlier Wednesday. Salt crews are at the ready, but roads will not be pre-treated because of the warm ground temperatures, according to the administration.

The weather service's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center forecast snow to extend from northeastern Maryland through southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City and New England.

The Weather Channel has dubbed the storm "Winter Storm Athena", its first use of a list of winter storm names the network released in October.

Local meteorologist Eric the Red abandoned predictions of snow for Maryland Wednesday morning, with indications the storm would breeze up the coast rather than stalling, bringing just passing sprinkles and flurries with no accumulation.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.