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More snow forecast Thursday evening on Baltimore's snowiest day since 2010

National Weather ServiceBaltimore Gas and Electric Co.

A few more inches of snow is forecast to fall Thursday afternoon and evening on top of the foot or more that accumulated overnight, already making it Baltimore's snowiest day since 2010.

Snow accumulation reports included 18 inches in Glyndon, 15 inches near Pimlico, 13.5 inches in Eldersburg, 13 inches near Oella, 11.8 inches in Towson and 10 inches near Bel Air by Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

A mass of dry air on the southeast side of the storm had moved over the region by midday, but a whip of cold air and moisture was forecast to start passing through around 3 p.m. as the system moves northeast. As much as an additional 2-4 inches of snow could fall.

The storm could end up setting a record -- 12.3 inches had been measured at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the point of record for Baltimore, as of 7 a.m. The record for Feb. 13 was set in 1899, when 15.5 inches of snow fell at the U.S. Customs House in Baltimore.

The expectation of heavy snows overnight prompted school districts, colleges and universities, and state and federal government offices to announce Wednesday night they would be closed Thursday. Baltimore County education officials said by midday Thursday schools would be closed Friday, as well. A winter storm warning is in effect across the region through early Friday morning.

Many areas reached the high end of earlier snowfall predictions by daybreak. Heavy bands of snowfall set up overnight, in some areas with rates of 1-3 inches of snow per hour, said Amy Bettwy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office. By Thursday morning, meteorologists raised their expectations for total storm accumulations from 6-10 inches, with a foot or more in Carroll and Frederick counties, to 10-14 inches along the Interstate 95 corridor, 14-18 to the northwest of it and as much as two feet for much of Carroll and Frederick.

"It came down in the form of very large snowflakes that piled up pretty quickly," Bettwy said.

The last time a foot or more of snow was measured at BWI was Feb. 10, 2010, when 15.5 inches fell at the tail end of the back-to-back storms that became known as "Snowmageddon".

Temperatures were hovering in the mid-30s by late Thursday morning, making most of the precipitation turn from snow to rain or sleet. Winds were steady at around 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

Despite concerns that heavy snow and wind would cause widespread power outages, relatively few were reported. About 1,000 were reported statewide as of noon, according to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, with about 400 in Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. territory.

In Baltimore, department of public works officials cancelled all trash, recycling, and bulk pickups for both Thursday and Friday. Street sweeping was also cancelled Thursday.

All leave was cancelled for state troopers and as many as 150 extra troopers were called in to assist with the response to the snow.

Residents throughout the region were strongly encouraged not to drive and in Baltimore, drivers are only legally allowed to be on the roads if they have radial tires, snow tires or chains.

Snow was expected to continue through the early morning hours Friday. After that, partly cloudy skies are forecast Friday with highs in the mid-30s.

Another chance of light snow could come Friday into Saturday, with weekend temperatures cold, from the mid-teens to the upper 20s and lower 30s.

Baltimore Sun reporter Carrie Wells contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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National Weather ServiceBaltimore Gas and Electric Co.
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