Winter weather comes in milder

Lighter-than-expected precipitation and an early arrival of warm air limited snowfall across the Baltimore area Saturday, with less than 2 inches falling in parts of Carroll and northern Baltimore counties.

A light snowfall mixed with sleet that continued into the early evening in Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties was expected to turn into a light drizzle, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow totaled about 1.5 inches in Jacksonville, about 1 inch in Hunt Valley and less than an inch in Baltimore City, the weather service said Saturday evening.

Areas in northwest Carroll and northern Frederick counties likely saw heavier accumulations of just under 3 inches, while 3 inches was reported in Hagerstown, said Kevin Witt, a NWS meteorologist.

"We did have an easterly wind across the regions … and when that happens we get slightly warmer temperatures because the air is coming from the ocean," Witt said.

Light rain was expected to continue in much of the Baltimore region through early Sunday. Sunday and Monday are expected to be dry and chilly.

A winter storm warning for Carroll that had called for as much as 4-8 inches of snow was canceled.

Traces of snow were reported in Westminster and Frederick on Saturday morning.

In Taneytown, "we got a couple of inches, maybe," said John Vonnes, general manager of Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel. Some customers who weren't staying at the inn canceled dinner reservations. But the weather had little effect because "most of our business is not local."

"People travel to get here. We had a wedding today and almost all the people showed up," he said

The forecast prompted more changed plans and preparations for inclement weather after a week that started with two consecutive snow days for area schoolchildren. Carroll and Harford public schools canceled school-sponsored activities scheduled for Saturday, and Harford also canceled Sunday events.

The snowfall comes on top of several inches that fell in parts of northern Maryland on Tuesday, and before that, Sunday. In Westminster, 4 inches was measured Tuesday on top of 8 inches measured Sunday. Norrisville in northern Harford County got 9 inches of snow in the Sunday storm and another 4 inches Tuesday.

With frigid temperatures for the past week, much of the snow has remained on the ground, and any more that falls could also stay, as long as it isn't washed away by rain.

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