Tuesday afternoon snowfall that totaled nearly 5 inches in some parts of the state prompted some Maryland schools to close early and delay openings Wednesday while drivers who set off early on roadways faced icy conditions.
Baltimore County Fire Dispatch confirmed at least one car accident in White Marsh due to icy roads. The person, who crashed on Ebenezer Road and Pulaski Highway, was taken to a local trauma center in serious condition around 6 a.m., dispatch said.
Meanwhile, Baltimore City Public Schools officials announced Wednesday morning the district would be closed due to the inclement weather.
The National Weather Service shared reports that included 4.4 inches in Manchester, 1.5 inches in Columbia, 1 inch in Elkridge and Crofton, and half an inch in Baltimore and Forest Hill.
The forecast led Howard County to close schools three hours early and Baltimore County and Carroll County to close two hours early Tuesday. Towson University, Morgan State University and the Maryland Institute College of Art were also among institutions that closed early.
Harford County, Cecil County and Prince George’s County announced Tuesday night that they will open two hours late Wednesday.
The precipitation also led to slick roads for commuters. Maryland State Police wrote on Twitter that they responded to 82 crashes, 37 disabled/unattended vehicles and 365 calls for service from noon to 9 p.m.
NWS wrote on Twitter that drivers should continue to expect fog and icy conditions Wednesday morning, “mainly in locations where snow fell.”
NWS forecasts chilly weather Wednesday and Thursday, with high temperatures of 42 degrees Fahrenheit and 36 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.
However, the region is also predicted to see a stretch of warm weather starting Friday, with a predicted high temperature of 52 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tuesday’s snowfall was in line with forecasts. The weather service predicted 1 or 2 inches of snowfall along the Interstate 95 corridor, and as much as 3 inches to the north and west, including in Carroll County.
The precipitation came from “a compact but strong” disturbance in the atmosphere moving through the region, meteorologists said.
Snow can fall even if temperatures are above freezing close to the ground as long as air is colder overhead. And it can accumulate on more than just grassy surfaces if it falls fast enough, meteorologists say.
“Temperatures may be near or slightly above freezing, but the heavy snowfall rates exceeding 1 inch per hour will likely overcome the milder temperatures to cause accumulations,” weather service meteorologist Kenneth Widelski said earlier Tuesday.
Precipitation was forecast to taper off by the evening hours. Temperatures are forecast to hover around freezing overnight, so some pavement could remain slick into Wednesday morning.
Until Tuesday, there had been just 0.3 of an inch of snowfall this winter at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the region’s point of record. More than 4 inches falls at BWI, on average, through the first week of January, according to the weather service.