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Nor'easter forecasts place rain/snow boundary across Md.

By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

2:13 PM EST, November 5, 2012

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The latest forecasts for a post-Election Day nor'easter bring a lot more of what isn't needed -- heavy rain along the Atlantic coast and possible snow in Western Maryland. The boundary between the two could fall right around Baltimore.

Models show the biggest risk for heavy snow inland, from Western Maryland into eastern Pennsylvania and eastern New York on Wednesday and Thursday. Forecast maps for Wednesday show snowfall possibly stretching from the mountains to Frederick and Carroll counties in Maryland, approaching the Baltimore area.

Some light snow could extend southeast into Howard and Baltimore counties, though the expected rain/snow line isn't expected to be far beyond that. The chance of snow for Frederick and Carroll counties is between 10 percent and about 40 percent, according to the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, with about an inch of rain across Central Maryland and 2 inches or more on the Eastern Shore toward the coast.

"The question is how far west can the precipitation get?" said Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather. Inland, some areas are expected to be cold enough for snow, but it's not clear how closely the storm will track along the coast.

AccuWeather is predicting up to 3 inches of snow north and west of Baltimore, with a pocket dumping 3-6 inches from Frederick County to the northeast through eastern Pennsylvania, according to severe weather blogger Henry Margusity. More importantly, Margusity is expecting 40-60 mph wind gusts and 1-3 inches of rain along coastline from the Delmarva peninsula to Cape Cod, much of which is of course still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

"We are more confident about storminess along the coast than we are about snow inland," Kines said.

Other weather watchers questioned whether the storm could bring much inland snow. Foot's Forecast is endorsing a scenario that would bring the system closest to land near Long Island on Friday and little to no snow accumulation along the Interstate 95 corridor.

Local meteorologist Eric the Red expects wet snow could possibly mix with cold rain on the Piedmont, to the north and west of Baltimore and the fall line, but any accumulation would likely be limited to grassy areas. The system should remain to the east of the Appalachians, sparing Western Maryland of another blizzard, he suggests.

Stay tuned for more from weather watchers on the developing forecasts for the nor'easter.

While we have spent most of the year in and out of drought conditions across Maryland, after Hurricane Sandy, more moisture isn't needed and could likely prompt flood watches from the National Weather Service later today. 

As of Oct. 30, 100 percent of the state was under normal conditions, compared with 52 percent of the state a week earlier, 8 percent in July and 0 percent in April, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Maryland Department of the Environment ended a drought watch for the Eastern Shore as of a month earlier.

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