NWS divides Howard, Baltimore, Harford counties to improve weather warnings

The National Weather Service is adjusting weather warning boundaries in Howard, Baltimore and Harford counties to reflect geographic differences that can cause wide weather variations.

The changes could help reduce false alarms and make advisories more precise, forecasters at the weather service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office wrote in a post on their website. That could be particularly useful for winter storms, when areas at higher elevations and further from urban heat islands can receive significantly higher amounts of snow and ice.

On the new map, a line will extend across the three counties dividing them into northern and southern sections (the weather service already divides Baltimore County into northern and southern sections, but the boundary is changing). The divisions are as follows:

  • Howard County from Patuxent River State Park in the west to Marriottsvile in the east.
  • Baltimore County from the southern end of Liberty Reservoir in the west to the Baldwin area in the east.
  • Harford County from the Fallston area in the west to Darlington in the east.

So come this winter, those who live on the northern sides of those boundaries could receive winter storm watches or warnings, for example, while those on the south could get winter weather advisories, a weaker classification.

The changes take effect Dec. 3. 

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