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Wet snow forecast to continue through Tuesday, and then temperatures plummet

Warm air lessened the potential impact of a snowy system moving through the region Tuesday, dropping a dusting around Baltimore but more to the north by midday.

The National Weather Service had placed the Baltimore region under a winter storm warning from late Monday night through early Wednesday, but Tuesday morning that was downgraded to a winter weather advisory.

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The Monday forecast called for 4 to 8 inches of snow. But warm overnight air meant many in Maryland woke up to wet surfaces with little to no accumulation. The chance for slick roads remains, and the weather service still calls for some accumulation -- 2 to 4 inches around Baltimore, 4-6 inches to the north and 1-3 inches to the south, with less accumulation closer to Washington, D.C.

Several inches of snow were reported in northern parts of the region: 3.5 inches in Long Green, in Baltimore County, 5.5 inches near the Uniontown area of Carroll County and 3 inches in Norrisville, in Harford County, according to the weather service. Less than an inch was reported in Columbia and at Pimlico in Baltimore City, while a trace was reported early this morning at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

While the storm does not rival last month's historic snowfall, which dropped a record 29.2 inches at BWI Marshall Airport, officials nonetheless urged residents to be cautious while driving.

State Highway Administration traffic cameras showed wet pavement around the region, though officials said they have seen instances of motorists spinning out after driving faster than conditions permit.

"We don't want people to be overconfident because it looks soft and fluffy and mostly wet on the roads," SHA spokeswoman Valerie Burnette Edgar said. Crews are preparing for temperatures to drop below freezing Tuesday night, creating icy spots.

The area's heaviest snow is forecast along the Mason-Dixon Line in northern Carroll, Baltimore and Harford counties, with lesser amounts to the south.

"It's not your typical nor'easter moving up the coast with heavy amounts of snow in a short amount of time," said Carl Erickson, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.com. Nor'easters are major storms known for bringing heavy snow to the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Still, periods of moderate to heavy snow are expected at times Tuesday. That could allow snow to accumulate even if temperatures are slightly above freezing, Erickson said. Temperatures were hovering around 34 degrees by midday Tuesday.

"There will be a few slippery spots if there's a heavier burst of snow," Erickson said.

The snow is coming from a low-pressure system that formed over the Mid-Atlantic on Monday night, after a complex system over the Great Lakes transferred its energy to the southeast.

After the snow passes by Wednesday morning, temperatures are forecast to plummet below freezing from Thursday through the weekend, with highs in the 20s and lows in the teens — and perhaps single digits early Sunday.

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