A winter storm could bring a few inches of snowfall and possibly a glaze of ice before precipitation turns to rain in the Baltimore area Sunday night into Monday, while as much as a foot of snow is expected in parts of Western Maryland.
A winter storm watch is in effect in Frederick County and points west, where the National Weather Service cautions wind gusts up to 45 mph and heavy snowfall could produce blizzard conditions that limit visibility and make travel unsafe. That could be upgraded to a winter storm warning as the weather system approaches from the Midwest.
The storm is not expected to be as intense in Central Maryland, but forecasters still issued a winter weather advisory for the region, including the Baltimore area, from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday. The advisory warns snow and ice could yield “slippery road conditions.”
Meteorologists with the weather service issued a winter weather advisory for Central Maryland, including the Baltimore area
Snowfall is expected to begin late Sunday afternoon and could continue into the early morning hours Monday. But as the storm progresses, an intrusion of warmer air in the atmosphere is expected to turn precipitation icy and rainy.
Weather service forecasters are predicting “a heavy burst of snow” as the storm moves into the Baltimore region, but then a switch to sleet or freezing rain, and then plain rain, especially in areas along and east of Interstate 95.
As of 1 p.m. Saturday, they were predicting 1-2 inches of snow along the I-95 corridor, with an inch or two more expected to the west and northwest, and less in areas bordering the Chesapeake.
Anywhere from a few hundredths of an inch to a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation is forecast across the region.
The weather service urged caution to anyone planning to travel in the region Sunday afternoon or evening, even if a winter storm warning is not issued for the Baltimore area.
“It must be noted that even areas which don’t see warning level snow have the potential for a brief burst of very heavy snow before the changeover occurs, with rates possibly approaching those seen on January 3rd south of DC for a time,” a weather service forecast reads. “This could make travel very difficult during that time, most likely occurring late Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening.”
In addition to the precipitation, forecasters called for a blustery Sunday. A high of 33 degrees during the day will drop slightly below freezing overnight, while winds gusting up to 23 mph during the day could accelerate up to 41 mph overnight.
A mixture of rain and snow is expected to fall before 2 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while the likelihood of wintry precipitation decreases in the afternoon, according to the weather service forecast. A steady breeze of 11 to 21 mph could produce gusts of up to 40 mph as the day progresses.
Forecasters aren’t calling for any precipitation after 9 p.m. Monday.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott urged city residents to try to take care of any errands on Sunday morning and “strongly encouraged” drivers to stay off the roads for the rest of the day “unless absolutely necessary.”
The mayor joked that Baltimoreans could spend Sunday night relaxing at home cheering against the Pittsburgh Steelers, archrivals of the hometown Ravens, in their NFL playoff game against Kansas City.
Baltimore Sun reporter Alex Mann contributed to this article.