This one is looking real, folks.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning at 1 p.m., effective from 7 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday.
With cold air being pushed south by a high pressure system anchored over New England, rising moist air from the southwest will turn to snow in Anne Arundel County beginning Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Then Saturday night into Sunday morning, more intense snow is expected as a low-pressure system moving toward the coast off the Carolinas pushes more moisture into our area.
State police implemented a snow emergency plan for Route 50 and I-97 at 4 p.m. Once designated as snow emergency routes any vehicle using those routes must have snow tires or chains. And no vehicles can be parked along the roadway. The plan is in effect until further notice.
Anne Arundel County Schools cancelled all school related activity that scheduled to start after 4 p.m. Saturday. No word yet on Sunday activities.
It’s a classic cold air plus coastal low scenario.
The bottom line: It was 2 to 4 inches locally until the 1 p.m. NWS update. Now the forecast is calling for 4 to up to 8 inches in the county. Accumulations should be higher in the south end of the county.
The worst scenario is up to 11 inches in Anne Arundel, but there’s only a 10 percent chance of that.
But, as usual, there is still potential wobble in that prediction.
“If I were to lean in any direction, I would lean toward the higher end of that range,” NWS meteorologist Kevin Witt said Friday night. He was then talking about the 4 inch upper range but was seeing indications it could to higher.
And it did.
The storm is expected to nudge farther north than previously forecast, hence the new total prediction and Winter Storm Warning.
Areas south of Anne Arundel, like Calvert and St. Mary’s counties, were expected to see a couple of inches more than what’s forecast here, now up to 8 inches and possibly a foot of snow.
“The low pressure is expected to go out to sea off the Carolina coast, perhaps as far north as Norfolk,” Witt said. “That is why you are seeing the 3- to 4-inch range holding in your area.”
State Highway Administration trucks were out applying chemicals to roadways. The telltale stripes could be seen on most state roads throughout the day Friday.
Anne Arundel County crews were at the ready with chemicals and plows.
“With the potential for our first statewide winter weather event of 2019, I ask all Marylanders to put safety first by staying off the roads during the storm, following your local weather forecasts, and heeding all warnings,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement issued by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. “I urge all Marylanders to use common sense and take all necessary precautions.”
MEMA suggests residents take the following precautions:
- Closely monitor updated weather forecasts and keep electronic communications devices charged.
- Never run generators indoors, in closed areas or near vents.
- Check on your elderly neighbors during and after the storm.
- If you must travel, make sure to have car chargers, kitty litter or sand for traction, blankets, extra winter clothes including hats and gloves, snacks, and water in case you become stranded.
- Let friends or family know of your travel route and expected arrival time.
- Be cautious shoveling snow or ice to avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks and keep hydrated.