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Forecasters eye chances for Valentine's Day snow

4:56 p.m. UPDATE: The National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office has revised its outlook to call for a nearly all-rain event Wednesday into Thursday. Meteorologists expect overnight lows in the upper 30s.

Precipitation forecasts have also decreased expected snow accumulation, with virtually no chance of 4 inches or more though still decent chances for an inch in Central Maryland.

Stay tuned for any more adjustments to the forecast.

Original post as of 12:04 p.m.:

Forecasters expect a chance for snow overnight Wednesday into Thursday, at least a few inches of it if the air is cold enough. There is still a possibility it could be mostly rain, though more snow chances await over the weekend.

Officially, the National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office is calling for rain Wednesday turning into a wintry mix and then snow. But meteorologists describe a challenging forecast, with "uncertainties regarding the track and timing of this low." 

National forecasters, meanwhile, see chances for significant snowfall. AccuWeather.com's Henry Margusity suggests snow possible across a stretch from Kansas and Oklahoma to southern New England, though he acknowledges that not all models are in agreement with that. Given the blizzard conditions that developed in New England on Friday and Saturday, that shouldn't necessarily be a concern, he adds.

"Remember, this time last week, no one was talking about a blizzard of the magnitude that hit Friday in New England, so given that, I am keeping all options open," Margusity wrote.

Weather service precipitation forecasters expect strong odds -- greater than 70 percent for most of Central Maryland -- of at least an inch of snow Thursday. Two inches of snow are more likely than not, at 50-70 percent odds, and chances of 4 inches or more are about 20-40 percent.

Local meteorologist "Eric the Red" suggests the Baltimore area will be along the dividing line between a rain- or snow-dominated event, with a chance for no snow or as much as 4-8 inches.

Foot's Forecast says models are "increasingly showing a snowy scenario", though mild weather Wednesday could pose a challenge for snow sticking overnight. Highs Wednesday and Thursday are both expected in the mid-40s.

There is also a chance the storm could miss the region, passing too far south, though the chances of that are decreasing, Foot's writes.

Beyond the potential for Valentine's Day snow, there is another chance over the weekend to look out for. The latest runs of the U.S.'s GFS model run Monday show a significant nor'easter storm forming, dumping more snow up the East Coast, potentially including Maryland this time. Look out for more on this developing forecast.

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

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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