Portions of Carroll County had seen 7 inches of snow by early Thursday evening, and much of the area could see another few inches as the first snowfall of the season continues.

Carroll has a winter storm warning in effect until 4 a.m. Friday and a snow emergency went into effect at 8:30 a.m.


As of noon, snow was still steadily falling in the Westminster area, closing Carroll County Public Schools, Carroll Community College, McDaniel College and, as of 1 p.m., both county government and all branches of the Carroll County Public Library. By 4 p.m., snowfall had dwindled off, though could pick back up later.

As of 5 p.m., Taneytown had received 7 inches of snow, Lineboro had 6.8 inches, Westminster and Manchester had 5.8 inches, Uhion Bridge had 5.5, the Mount Airy area 4.5 and Eldersburg had 4.3, according to the National Weather Service.

Thursday's snow is Baltimore's earliest in 22 years, and heaviest for November since at least 1989

November snowfall is relatively common in Baltimore, but usually leaves just a trace of flakes. Thursday's dose of sustained wintry precipitation was the most the region has seen in November since 1989, and the earliest it has seen measurable snowfall in 22 years.

Snow will continue through the afternoon, with possible rain or sleet mixing in, Kevin Witt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service out of Sterling, Virginia. Meteorologist Chris Strong said at about 2 p.m. that Carroll could see 8 inches of snow by the time the storm was over.

Witt said the snow won’t fully transition to rain until 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., and later in northern areas of the county. Carroll could see more snow later tonight after 10 p.m., he said, adding that there is another storm moving over West Virginia.

Temperatures aren’t expected to rise above freezing until about 6 p.m., he said, and even then, temperatures will only get to 35 of 35 degrees.

“Temperatures are going to be, in spots, around freezing, even this evening,” he added.

Friday’s forecast includes 30 percent chance of snow before 7 a.m., before temperatures rise to a high of near 42 with sun, according to the NWS.

Jeff Castonguay, director of public works for the county, noted that the original forecast had called for only around an inch of snow.

“Roads are deteriorating,” Castonguay said.

Phase one was completed and salt was put down on roads, and just before noon, he said, the county had moved into phase two.

“We’re going to do some plowing with salting because we’re going to get additional snow,” he added.

As of noon, the Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack had responded to nine crashes, and Carroll County Department of Public Safety was urging extra caution for anyone who had to be out and about Thursday.

With the cold weather, the county opened its warming centers Thursday, according to a news release from county government.

Carroll County’s Department of Citizen Services will operate six warming centers around the county. Carroll County Public Library branches were open until 1 p.m., but closed early. County Administrator Roberta Windham said the cold weather shelter was opening at 1 p.m. and available to anyone in need of a warm place, according to the release.


Warming centers are open during regular business hours at County Senior Centers and the Department of Citizen Services.

  • Citizen Services Office Building, 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday)
  • Mount Airy Senior and Community Center, 703 Ridge Ave., Mount Airy (8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday)
  • North Carroll Senior and Community Center, 2328 Hanover Pike, Hampstead (8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday)
  • South Carroll Senior and Community Center, 5928 Mineral Hill Road, Eldersburg (8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday)
  • Taneytown Senior and Community Center, 220 Roberts Mill Road, Taneytown (8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday)
  • Westminster Senior and Community Center, 125 Stoner Ave., Westminster (8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday)

On first snow day of the season, Baltimore sets a record for its wettest year in the books

A wintry mix of precipitation is possible Thursday morning north and west of Baltimore. And then before the day is out, the region could break a record for its wettest year since at least 1871. The National Weather Service is forecasting a dusting of snow and a glaze of ice west of Interstate 95.

Additional options for keeping warm are available during the day include:

  • On Our Own (410-751-6600) provides a community center at 265 E. Main St., Westminster. Hours vary and are available at http://www.onourownofcarrollcounty.org/.
  • Stores, malls, restaurants
  • Churches
  • Neighbor's home

For after-hours cold shelter needs:

  • Human Services Programs (HSP) of Carroll County, Inc. operates a Cold Weather Shelter at 127 Stoner Ave., Westminster overnight from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. during the cold weather season. The shelter is opening at 1 p.m. Nov. 15. Information about the Cold Weather Shelter can be obtained by calling 410-857-8473. In times when overflow space is needed, HSP has partnered with the Westminster Rescue Mission to provide transportation to a limited number of alternative overnight accommodations.

The Carroll County Department of Public Safety Emergency Management offered safety tips for dealing with cold temperatures, which include:

  • Minimizing outside activities, particularly among the elderly and very young. Check on family members and neighbors who may be more vulnerable to the cold.
  • Pets are also sensitive to the cold; remember to consider your pets’ needs when planning outside activities.
  • Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Wear a hat and mittens/gloves to stay warmer.
  • Be aware of frostbite. If a part of the body loses feeling and the skin feels waxy or looks white or grey, warm gently and seek medical help.
  • Watch out for hypothermia. Shivering, memory loss, confusion, slurred speech, and drowsiness are all warning signs. Seek medical attention for signs of hypothermia.
  • Use caution when heating your home. For tips on how to safely use space heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves and refer to the U.S. Fire Administration’s home heating safety handout.
  • If using a space heater, be aware of the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

For more information on local cold weather resources, including energy assistance, visit the Carroll County Health Department cold weather webpage or check out the Carroll County Health Department on Facebook.