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Another 3-5 inches of snow forecast Tuesday

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The National Weather Service is forecasting another 3-5 inches of snow Tuesday on top of the wet, slushy blanket left over from Sunday's storm.

Accumulations of 2-4 inches are most likely across the Baltimore area, according to forecast maps from the National Weather Service updated Monday afternoon, with the possibility for isolated higher amounts.

Snow is expected to start around daybreak and could be intense during the morning rush hour. Snow could fall at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour for a two- to four-hour window between daybreak and mid- to late morning.

A winter weather advisory is in effect across Central Maryland from 3 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Experimental forecasts that the weather service is testing for the first time this winter suggest slightly greater than 50 percent odds of at least 4 inches across the region, and 10 percent odds of at least 8 inches. There is a greater than 70 percent chance we get at least 2 inches, according to the weather service.

State Highway Administration crews were idled by Monday morning after the threat of ice passed, but were gearing up for another significant deployment of plows and salt trucks early Tuesday morning, spokesman David Buck said. About 1,900 workers were on duty Sunday, with about 1,700 trucks, and about the same were expected to be deployed Tuesday, Buck said.

He urged drivers to take caution and manage their expectations given forecasts of another storm bringing intense snowfall within a short period of time. It takes drivers an hour or slightly longer to plow a 10-15 mile route, so by the time they are back to where they started, roads can be well covered again when snowfall is heavy, he said.

"It's staggering the amount of complaints we get," Buck said. "It just takes a little time when it’s snowing that hard."

Before the next system arrives, the region was still cleaning up the slush from Sunday's snowfall as a light rain was expected to continue into Monday afternoon. Highs Monday are forecast around 40 degrees.

Fears of a major ice storm with accumulations of a quarter of an inch of ice or more did not come to pass in some areas, though many were still without power. The weather service received reports of as much as 0.3 inches of ice accumulation in Bel Air and a tenth of an inch or less in Parkville.

As of 3:45 p.m., 1,700 Baltimore Gas and Electric customers were without power. BGE had restored power to more than 21,000 customers.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is still largely inaccessible to guests because of the snow and was closed Monday, officials said via Facebook.

Any precipitation that accumulates Tuesday could stick around through the week, with lows in the upper teens and lower 20s from Tuesday through Friday. Highs are forecast in the lower- to mid- 30s all week.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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