It’s looking likely that Maryland could see some snow this weekend as a winter storm (perhaps a relatively minor one) sweeps across much of the eastern United States.
“At this point, the biggest point of contention seems to be how much snow we are going to get here,” meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast office wrote Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday morning, they suggested that it does not appear the region is in line for heavy snowfall, but perhaps an extended period of light wintry precipitation Saturday into Sunday. The best chance for heavier snow rates looked possible Sunday morning, though it was still too early for a firm prediction, the forecasters said.
Separately, some flurries were possible around the Baltimore region Wednesday afternoon, while several inches of snow were expected to fall in Western Maryland on Wednesday. Garrett County was under a winter storm warning, and western Allegany County a winter weather advisory.
For the weekend, snow is likely from the western Carolinas into New England as a low-pressure system moves through over the weekend. A flow of cold air from the north is expected to become locked in place for the eastern half of the country by Thursday and through the weekend.
Weather service forecasters noted that “even a slight shift in the track of this system will yield vastly different results, so stay tuned to the latest forecast for more details.”
AccuWeather.com downplayed the chances of a major weekend snowstorm, but said there was a chance it could become a stronger storm than expected.
Foot’s Forecast was blunt in its assessment of the uncertainty: “Please do not ask for specific snow amounts yet,” they wrote around midday Wednesday. “There is just not enough data correlation to even fathom a guess.” Forecasters said they don’t expect to post preliminary accumulation estimates until Thursday night.
The weather service office’s winter storm web page is warning of a “slight” storm threat for the Baltimore and Washington regions for the weekend, with an “enhanced” threat Sunday for Western Maryland. Its forecast suggests 40-60 percent chances of snow Saturday and Sunday.
Forecasters said the potential for snow should be helped by a strong flow of cold air forecast to move in by the end of the week.
After temperatures approached 50 degrees around the region Tuesday, they are forecast to peak in the lower to mid-40s Wednesday. By Thursday, temperatures are expected to remain in the 20s and 30s, potentially remaining below freezing throughout the weekend.
There has been 1.4 inches of snow this season at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the Baltimore region’s point of record. All of that came in November. There was not even a trace of December snow here for the first time since 2001.