The first week of 2014 could bring an inch or more of snow to Baltimore, according to a National Weather Service forecast.

Rain on Thursday is expected to turn into snow before midnight, the forecast predicts, with a 60 percent chance of more than an inch accumulation across the area. The fast-moving storm, made up of low-pressure systems from Northern Mexico and Canada, will most likely dust the region as it moves out to sea, said Dan Hoffman, a meteorologist based in the weather service's Sterling, Va., office.

Snow could continue through Friday morning, but it likely will clear up in the afternoon and evening, when unseasonably cold temperatures below 20 degrees are expected to set in, the forecast says.

The "worst-case scenario" could bring up to 4 inches, and up to 4.5 to the north and east of the city, Hoffman said. The service doesn't calculate an exact precipitation total until 36 hours before the storm, he said.

Sunday night could bring another chance of snow, with temperatures hovering around freezing, according to the forecast. Temperatures should be up to the mid-40s by Monday, turning any precipitation back into rain.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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