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Chilly weekend could end with spring snow

Spring officially started Wednesday, but colder-than-average temperatures will lead to another chilly weekend and a chance of snow Sunday night.

Multiple weather agencies warned two storm systems pushing through the area will likely produce rain and snow Sunday night into Monday in the area.

The National Weather Service was calling for rain Sunday to change over to a mix of rain and snow Sunday night and Monday.

A few inches of accumulation is possible overnight, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Carl Erickson said.

Foot's Forecast's Keith Krichinsky was a bit more skeptical. He expected any accumulations to be minimal and called this the latest of many nuisance storms to effect the region this March.

"We're still a long ways out, and the forecast could change, but I just don't see it," he said. "I think any accumulations will be minor, probably a half-inch or less."

Snow has fallen as late as April in Carroll, according to records kept by National Weather Service cooperative observer Bobby Miller, of Millers. Since he started keeping records 31 years ago, he's recorded 2 or more inches of snow nine different times March 25 through the end of April.

The most recent noteworthy spring snow came when 3 inches of snow fell March 30, 2003. His latest recorded snow observation came April 20, 1983, when 2 inches of snow fell in Millers.

When snow does fall, it rarely sticks around long this time of year. The sun's higher angle in the spring typically allows for temperatures to surge above freezing, Erickson said.

That's why any accumulations with this weekend's storm are likely to happen overnight, Erickson said.

"It's really, really hard to get snow to accumulate [this time of year]," he said.

This month is trending much cooler than historical averages, according to data recorded by the National Weather Service at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport.

The average high temperatures for late March should be in the upper 50s. The forecast high temperatures are 47 today, 42 Sunday and 35 for Monday, all well below average.

The Climate Prediction Center expected that trend to end eventually, perhaps as soon as early April. In their long-range outlook issued Thursday, forecasters there expected above-average temperatures this spring in the mid-Atlantic.

But first, another cold, potentially snowy stretch, awaits.

"Temperatures are likely to remain below average through next week," Erickson said.

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