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Maryland weather: Winter storm could drop 4-6 inches of snow in Baltimore region starting early Thursday morning

The Baltimore area is bracing for its latest snowstorm, which forecasters say will pile up snow and ice around the state.

A winter storm warning is in effect for much of the state, with the exception of the Eastern Shore, from 3 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday.

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Overnight Wednesday, about an inch of snow is likely to fall, according to the National Weather Service, starting around 4 a.m. Low temperatures will be in the upper 20s.

The snow will continue Thursday, although there’s a chance of sleet and freezing rain in the afternoon. Forecasters say an additional 2-4 inches of snow and sleet will accumulate during the day, plus a trace amount of ice. Another inch of snow is also likely to accumulate late in the day, forecasters said.

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“Snow Thursday morning will be heavy at times with snowfall rates around 1 to 2 inches per hour possible along with visibility reduced to around one-quarter mile,” according to a National Weather Service forecast.

As warm air makes its way northward Thursday afternoon, snow will transition to a wintry mix. The region could see a tenth of an inch of ice, which could cause travel problems and power outages.

Transportation officials are warning Marylanders to be prepared to alter Thursday travel plans and be stocked in case of any outages.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said the city’s snow team is set to be deployed around 2 a.m. to treat roads.

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“We’re advising you to stay off the roads unless you absolutely must travel,” Scott said in a tweet. “Our crews will be out doing their work to pre-treat, salt, and clear our roads — but we want everyone to take the proper precautions to stay safe.”

The wintry mix could continue into Thursday evening, before transitioning back to snow after midnight. Light snow could continue into Friday morning, and then there’s a chance of rain.

Temperatures Friday are likely to rise to or above freezing, causing some of the snow to melt.

By the time all is said and done, Baltimore is likely to get 4-6 inches of snow, as are areas to its north and west, plus a tenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch of ice. Places south of Baltimore are poised to get less snow, with 3-4 inches expected in Annapolis with a tenth to a quarter inch of ice.

Baltimore City’s health department said its coronavirus testing and vaccination sites will be closed Thursday, in addition to the Baltimore City Convention Center site run by the state. Mobile vaccination operations will be canceled. Appointments scheduled for Thursday will be moved to Saturday.

Baltimore County’s health department said its coronavirus testing and vaccination sites will be closed Thursday and Friday. Anne Arundel County and Carroll County said their health department testing clinics will be closed Thursday.

Howard County’s health department said its vaccine clinic would be closed Thursday. Harford County’s health department said its vaccine clinic planned for Friday will be delayed until noon. Officials are asking those with Friday morning appointments to come between noon and 4 p.m.

Inclement weather has temporarily shuttered coronavirus testing sites and vaccination clinics sporadically in the past months. Correspondingly, in the following days, vaccination numbers and coronavirus case numbers have decreased.

Officials said Tuesday that the wintry weather has also delayed some vaccine shipments from other parts of the country to Maryland. Thursday’s storm could have the same effect, straining an already short supply of doses.

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