Storm drops wet snow across region, rainy slush along I-95

Wet-to-snowy weather is forecast for pre-Thanksgiving travelers Wednesday.

Several inches of snow fell across the northern tier of Maryland on Wednesday, with a slushy mess of wet snow and rain for travelers along the Interstate 95 corridor.

As the intense storm moved up the East Coast, there were reports of "thundersnow" -- thunder and lightning in a winter storm -- in Baltimore city and county. Early snowfall reports included 3 inches in Jarrettsville, 2.5 inches near Millers in Carroll County, 1.9 inches near Glyndon and 0.6 inches near Columbia. 

The season's first measurable snow in Baltimore, 0.2 inches, was reported at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the region's point of record.

The snow was tapering off across the region by late Wednesday afternoon.

Maryland State Police enacted snow emergency plans in Carroll County and points west, prohibiting parking along designated snow emergency routes.

According to flight tracking website FlightAware, 73 flights had been delayed and four flights had been canceled at BWI.

Winter road crews in the Baltimore metro area spent much of Wednesday "scouting for icy patches" as pavement temperatures dropped through the day, according to Charlie Gischlar, a State Highway Administration spokesman.

Farther west, from Carroll and Frederick counties on into Allegany, Washington and Garrett counties, crews had a bigger job, he said, salting and clearing slush and snow.

Traffic midday was "doing OK" in major centers, Gischlar said. The agency had urged many drivers not to drive on Wednesday, and instead defer trips until Thanksgiving, when the worst of the weather is expected to have cleared the region.

Still, Gischlar said drivers should continue to beware of icy conditions in the evening and morning hours.

"Although we'll be out watching for any icy patches, drivers should raise their awareness that that is a possibility in some areas," he said.

Drivers headed out onto the roads should visit the state's md511.org website to check on traffic, he said.

In Western Maryland and in parts of the metro area, SHA crews will likely remain a common sight well into the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Until we're good to go, we'll be out there," Gischlar said.

Wednesday morning, Allegany County, Carroll County and Garrett County public schools announced they were closed for the day. Baltimore County public schools will close three hours early.

Mostly rain is forecast on the southeastern side of I-95, including in Anne Arundel County and on the Eastern Shore, though some wet snow was reported.

As of noon, about two-thirds of an inch of rain had fallen at BWI since early Wednesday morning. Temperatures at the airport dropped from 42 degrees in the early morning hours to 33 degrees by noon.

Precipitation is expected to taper off by evening.

Cold temperatures are forecast throughout Thanksgiving Day, with morning lows around freezing and highs in the lower 40s and wind chills in the mid-30s. There is a slight chance of a wintry mix of precipitation during the day.

Lows Friday and Saturday mornings are forecast to fall to the 20s, with highs in only the upper 30s and mostly sunny skies Friday and clouds with highs in the mid-40s Saturday.

A warm-up is expected to return Sunday with cloudy skies and highs in the upper 50s.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
36°