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Winter warning for northern Maryland; Baltimore area will see slush, ice and rain, then wind and frigid temps

A massive winter storm is forecast to hit the eastern United States this weekend, bringing blizzard conditions and heavy ice accumulations to some areas.

Maryland is more likely to get rain, though on Friday a winter storm warning was issued for areas in northern and western Maryland including Frederick, Carroll and parts of Baltimore counties. In the Baltimore area, the warning includes areas north of the Beltway from Towson to the Pennsylvania line.

A warning can mean snow, though in this case forecasters are predicting a high likelihood for freezing rain and possibly sleet.

Meanwhile, a winter advisory — alerting to the possibility of freezing rain — was issued for areas including Howard and Harford counties, the remaining areas of Baltimore County and the city of Baltimore.

Here’s what to expect in the Baltimore area:

» By early Saturday afternoon, precipitation is forecast to start as a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain. Any snow or ice accumulations are expected to be minor. Temperatures are forecast to hover around the freezing mark throughout the day, but a warmer layer of air is expected to move in overhead, producing the mixed precipitation as opposed to just snow.

» By sundown, the precipitation is likely to turn into what meteorologists call plain rain. An inch or more of rain could fall Saturday evening into Sunday morning, and meteorologists warned that could cause some flooding given the frozen ground and remaining snowpack from last weekend’s storm.

» Though Maryland is expected to be on the “warm” side of the storm, temperatures may not rise out of the upper 30s throughout the weekend. So even plain rain should be bone-chilling.

» Temperatures are forecast to plummet throughout the day Sunday, into the 20s throughout the day, to the teens Sunday night, and potentially into the single digits by early Monday morning.

» Strong winds are also forecast to move in after the storm departs, with 35 mph gusts possible on Sunday.

» Elsewhere, the storm is forecast to have a much bigger impact. Western Maryland was under a winter storm warning, with as much as a quarter of an inch of ice accumulations possible in Hagerstown and points west. And more than a foot of snow is expected from Ohio into New England, with blowing snow producing blizzard conditions in many areas.

sdance@baltsun.com

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