Maryland weather: Meteorologists looking ahead to a potentially 'significant' snowstorm this weekend

This weekend's snowfall might have been just the beginning of an active winter weather pattern for Maryland.

THE LATEST FORECAST: Snow, ice forecast Thursday night, Friday morning; weekend could bring heavy rain or snow »

Another snowfall is possible Thursday, as moisture moves up from the south to meet chilly air forecast over the region this week. A light snow or wintry mix is possible especially north and west of Baltimore.

And then, long-range weather models were predicting a potent storm could move up the East Coast this weekend.

“At this time uncertainty is quite high, but with ample available cold air in vicinity of and behind a likely very dynamic system, there is potential for a significant storm,” meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast office wrote Monday.

Here's why Maryland's snow forecasts doubled at the last minute over the weekend »

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center in College Park forecasts a likelihood of cold and wet weather across the eastern United States from Friday into the middle of the following week.

Over the weekend, the Mid-Atlantic could get 1½ inches to 2 inches of precipitation, as measured in liquid form, the climate center said. That is significantly more moisture than the region got during Saturday and Sunday’s snowfall.

But whether any precipitation this weekend falls as rain or snow depends on the hypothetical storm’s track. If Maryland ends up on the north side of the storm, the flow of cold air could be enough for some if not much or all of the precipitation to fall in a frozen form.

But on the warm side, to the storm’s southeast, that could mean temperatures climbing into the lower 60s and possible flooding as heavy rain falls on any snowpack that remains from this past weekend’s snowfall, weather service forecasters said.

Foot’s Forecast said there is potential for “extremely nasty” weather — possibly heavy rain followed by snow followed by single-digit temperatures and gusty winds.

“Will this come to fruition or will this be a bust? It is still too early to say and way too early to give any accumulation 'guestimates,' ” the forecasters wrote. “So, we won’t know until Wednesday or Thursday.”

AccuWeather.com said “the latest indications point toward the storm sweeping snow and ice from the central Plains to a large swath of the Northeast.”

And then, “there will be no rest for the weary,” said Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather’s lead long-range forecaster.

Long-range models suggest another storm will approach the eastern United States around Jan. 22-23, and yet another later that week. It’s still too early to guess whether and how they could affect Maryland.

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