Around two inches of snow fell on the Baltimore area Friday night during a winter storm that dumped a foot of heavy snow in Ocean City.
A blizzard warning is in effect in Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties until 7 p.m., with wind gusts up to 50 mph causing limited visibility and making for treacherous travel from Crisfield to Salisbury to Ocean City. Blizzard conditions occur anytime winds surpass 35 mph amid heavy snow, reducing visibility to a quarter mile or less for a period of several hours.
One to two more inches of wind-blown snow could continue to fall Saturday in Ocean City that saw between 7 and 12 inches overnight. Skies are predicted to clear after 1 p.m. on the Eastern Shore, with temperatures lingering in the 20s, according to a Saturday morning forecast.
Southern parts of Anne Arundel County saw almost four inches of snow, while BWI airport reported an inch and a half. About two inches fell in eastern Baltimore County. The storm lightly dusted Carroll County with half an inch.
Friday morning, winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings stretched along the coast from the Delmarva Peninsula to northern Maine as two low pressure systems began to converge over the Carolinas. The storm is forecast to develop and strengthen rapidly Saturday, bringing two feet of snow or more and blizzard conditions to eastern Massachusetts and battering the rest of the Northeast coast with blustery winds and snow.
The storm tracked too far to the east and didn’t strengthen quick enough to bring more than a few inches of snowfall to the Baltimore region.
The heaviest snowfall on record in the lower Eastern Shore came in 1899, when 25 inches fell over two days in Ocean City, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.
Gov. Larry Hogan issued a state of emergency on the Eastern Shore and directed the Maryland National Guard to have 125 soldiers at the ready at armories there and in Southern Maryland.
“We urge Marylanders to take this winter storm seriously, especially residents on the Eastern Shore, where we are anticipating blizzard-like conditions,” said Governor Hogan. “Stay off the roads tonight for your own safety, and so that the crews and first responders can do their jobs.”
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is under a full wind restriction as air gusts more than 50 mph Saturday. Tractor-box trailers are not allowed to cross the bridge.
Winter weather advisories are in effect from 4 p.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday for Anne Arundel, eastern Howard, southern Baltimore and southeastern Harford counties and Baltimore City.
Blustery winds are forecast to extend inland to the Baltimore area, where gusts could reach 40 mph.
With Arctic air surging southward to fuel the storm, frigid temperatures are forecast in the region as the storm passes off the coast. Wind chills are forecast to drop into the single digits by early Saturday morning and close to zero early Sunday morning, with high temperatures expected in the mid-20s Saturday and overnight lows forecast in the teens.