Will it or won’t it? Forecasters watching chances that strong storm will bring snow to Maryland this weekend

A storm is forecast to develop and rapidly strengthen off the Southeast U.S. coast by the end of this week, bringing gusty winds and heavy snow to the coastal mid-Atlantic and New England. But how much precipitation it could bring to Maryland remained difficult to predict Wednesday.

Meteorologists are confident conditions will be ripe for a strong coastal storm to develop Friday off the Carolinas and head toward eastern Canada, a product of southwardly surging Arctic air meeting warm Gulf Stream waters off the East Coast.


It will be the storm’s exact path up the coast that will determine how much and what types of precipitation will fall where. The storm track is difficult to pin down, and meteorologists expect a narrow gradient between areas with heavy snow and little to none at all.

If the storm hugs the coast, more significant snowfall — as much as 4 to 8 inches, perhaps — is possible along the Interstate 95 corridor in the Baltimore region. But if it tracks 50 miles farther east, any snowfall here would be more like a dusting.


The timing of any snowfall is expected late Friday into Saturday.

As of midday Wednesday, the National Weather Service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast office was calling for perhaps 3 inches along I-95.

Unlike many snowstorms, where colder temperatures and higher elevations produce heavier snowfall to the north and west of Baltimore, in this case the coastal track could bring more snowfall to the south and east of the I-95 corridor. On Wednesday, the weather service was calling for 4-5 inches around Annapolis and 5-8 inches in far Southern Maryland and the lower Eastern Shore.

But specific snowfall forecasts could likely change over the next two days. Meteorologists warned against putting too much faith in predictions of specific snowfall totals at this point.

“Confidence is increasing in a potential impactful event for the majority of the Mid-Atlantic coast and further across New England,” weather service forecasters wrote Wednesday. But they said confidence in their forecast “remains low with regards to [snow] totals” in and around Baltimore.