Temperatures were forecast to rise into the mid-40s by Wednesday morning in the Baltimore area as the rain continues, but gusty winds and possible snowflakes could still blow in by the afternoon to again slow those traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Snow was piling up in Western Maryland and across Pennsylvania on Tuesday, with travel to the Northeast expected to be treacherous into Thanksgiving Day as the storm moves up the East Coast.

Those traveling by air also faced problems, with some delays and cancellations nationwide Tuesday.

Despite the lack of significant wintry precipitation in the Baltimore area, transportation officials urged drivers to be cautious, particularly if heading north or west for the holiday.

"If it's really nasty out, delay your travel to a later time," State Highway Administration spokeswoman Valerie Burnette Edgar said. "It's just not the time you want to be stuck."

Light, steady rain fell throughout the day Tuesday in the Baltimore area. Close to a half-inch had fallen at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport by around 10 p.m.

Forecasters predicted more than 2 inches of rainfall before the storm leaves the area Wednesday night.

Edgar said concerns about the rain turning to ice on roadways were limited to areas farthest north and west in Central Maryland. Forecasters expected a significant warm-up overnight Tuesday, with the day's high temperature, potentially approaching 50 degrees, likely to come just before midnight.

"Temperatures are going to be doing nothing but rising [Tuesday night] in Baltimore," said Brian Edwards, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.com.

That would mean more rain, perhaps until cold air rushes in behind the storm. The National Weather Service is forecasting less than an inch of any frozen precipitation in Baltimore.

"It's not enough to accumulate, but a lot of places will see at least some snow falling from the sky," Edwards said.

No flights at BWI had been canceled as of 10 p.m. Tuesday, though about 50 flights scheduled to arrive throughout the evening were delayed. Another nearly 40 departures were delayed.

Nationwide, about 130 flights were canceled Tuesday, the largest number at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.

Cold, windy conditions were forecast for Thanksgiving and the Ravens-Steelers game at M&T Bank Stadium. Temperatures were predicted to be in the mid- to upper 30s during the day, and around freezing for the Ravens kickoff.

Winds could gust up to 40 mph late Wednesday and the first half of Thursday, but were expected to calm in time for the game.

sdance@baltsun.com

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