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Despite taste of spring, forecasters expect more cold, snow chances

By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

3:50 PM EST, February 27, 2013

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Temperatures reached the mid-50s across the region Wednesday afternoon, but forecasters cautioned against expecting more springlike weather just yet as they predict more cold and possible snow chances ahead.

"THIS NICE FEBRUARY DAY /EXCEPT FOR THE BREEZE/ MIGHT BE ENOUGH TO GIVE SOME PEOPLE SPRING FEVER," National Weather Service meteorologists covering the Baltimore/Washington region wrote in a forecast discussion Wednesday afternoon. "BUT WE SHOULD NOT GET USED TO IT."

Colder -- and breezier -- air is expected to return, they wrote. Lows are forecast back around freezing or below by the weekend, with some chances for flurries.

A dusting of snow is possible for northern Carroll, Baltimore and Harford counties overnight Thursday, according to weather service forecast maps.

Beyond that, another low-pressure system in a series of storms to sweep across the nation's midsection could be brewing, according to early forecast models.

The system looks likely to pass through the mid-Atlantic by the middle of next week, according to the weather service, though the meteorologists called it "way too early" to take the model predictions at face value.

AccuWeather.com's Henry Margusity has said he expects an early March storm because a key climate indicator, the North Atlantic Oscillation, is showing a coastal storm is possible. One model, known as the European model, is showing a storm that "digs southeast from western Canada and bombs upon hitting the coast," Margusity wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

But other weather watchers, many of whom commented on Margusity's post, said they expected the forecast to fizzle just like similar calls made earlier this winter.

While parts of New England have seen near-record-setting snows, it has been a light snow year for the mid-Atlantic. At Baltimore-Washington International Airport, 4.8 inches have fallen, compared with 18-20 inches in a typical season.