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Western Md. bracing for blizzard; frigid winds to reach Baltimore

Western Maryland is under a winter storm watch going into the weekend, with the possibility of white-out conditions and more than 6 inches of snow. That precipitation isn't expected to reach Baltimore -- but a blast of frigid wind is.

A winter storm watch is in effect for Thursday night through Saturday afternoon in western Allegany County and Garrett County, including Frostburg and Deep Creek Lake. It isn't expected to dump the heavy, wet snow that paralyzed the region after Superstorm Sandy, but is raising different concerns.

Snow is expected to be heavy at times, accumulating about 6 inches or more, but the storm is forecast to be particularly hazardous because of the addition of heavy winds. Sustained breezes of 20 mph to 30 mph are expected from the west, with gusts up to 45 mph.

That could lead to blizzard conditions and zero visibility, with wind chill-factored temperatures in the single digits, according to the weather service.

The worst of the storm is expected Friday afternoon and night.

Precipitation isn't expected on this side of the mountains, though. After a chance of showers Thursday evening and overnight into Friday in Baltimore, the weekend is expected to be dry but cold.

Wind chills could keep temperatures feeling around freezing all day on Friday in Central Maryland, and even colder than that on Saturday -- factored for the wind chill, it could feel like the 20s all day. Steady winds of 20 mph are forecast, with gusts of 30-35 mph.

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

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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