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Maryland weather: Light wintry mix to continue into Friday morning; icy roads possible

The heaviest bands of precipitation left the Baltimore area Thursday afternoon, but forecasters said periods of light wintry precipitation are likely to continue into Friday.

High temperatures are likely to be in the upper 20s, meaning roads will remain icy.

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The winter weather will continue into Friday with a chance of rain, snow and freezing rain possible throughout the day. Temperatures will be in the mid-30s with a 50% chance of precipitation. Additional snow and sleet accumulations of a half-inch or less less and ice accumulation of less than one-tenth of an inch are expected Friday.

The freezing drizzle, rain and snow will “gradually end as the day progresses,” the National Weather Service wrote in a tweet.

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A winter weather advisory is in effect until Friday at noon for the Baltimore area for the possibility of an ice glaze. Parts of Southern Maryland are under a winter storm warning.

Snowflakes, sleet and freezing rain started to fall around the Baltimore region early Thursday morning, beginning the area’s latest winter storm.

Forecasters had predicted 4 to 6 inches for Baltimore, but warm air moved into the region quickly Thursday, forcing them to “drastically lower” predictions.

“Unfortunately for snow lovers, that is all it really takes to change snow to sleet,” read a National Weather Service forecast, which called the outcome “somewhat surprising.”

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Baltimore City’s Pimlico neighborhood had reported 2 inches of snow as of 2 p.m., and Annapolis and Columbia had reported 1 inch. Cockeysville and Sykesville were closer to 2 inches as of noon. Parts of Baltimore, Carroll and Harford counties, plus western counties, all reported between 3 and 6 inches.

There was a “sharp gradient” between rapidly accumulating snow and an icy mix Thursday morning.

Between 4 a.m. and noon Thursday, state troopers responded to 158 crashes, 93 disabled or unattended vehicles and 397 calls for service.

“Please make every effort to stay off the roads today,” state police wrote in a tweet.

Forecasters say a “quick burst of heavy snow” did hit some areas Thursday morning.

“We have been observing at several locations where visibility has rapidly dropped from 10 miles to 1/2 mile in just 20 minutes,” read a National Weather Service forecast early Thursday.

Coronavirus testing and vaccination sites, government offices and schools all announced closures for Thursday, and in some cases Friday.

The mass vaccination site at Six Flags in Prince George’s County will open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, according to the Maryland Health Department.

People with appointments from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. should arrive from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. If the appointment is between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., people should arrive from 11 a.m. to noon. If the appointment is after 10 a.m., individuals can arrive at their scheduled time.

The other mass vaccination site, at the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, will be open for vaccination and testing. Those who were unable to attend originally scheduled appointments should call 410-649-6200 to reschedule.

Baltimore City Department of Public Works said Thursday night that it’s canceling trash and recycling pickup Friday for the second day in a row.

“The City’s alleyways remain quite slick and any melting will likely refreeze overnight,” DPW Director Matthew Garbark said in a news release. “These conditions make collection of trash and recyclables dangerously difficult for sanitation workers.”

The agency will monitor conditions and decide Friday when to resume operations.

There’s a chance of snow and freezing rain Friday morning, and snow and rain in the afternoon. Nothing much is expected to accumulate.

The “coldest air mass of the season” likely to move into the region over the weekend, although forecasters note that isn’t saying much, given that temperatures have been mild this winter.

The next storm system is expected to arrive Monday when there’s a 60% chance of light mixed precipitation, the weather service said.

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