A head-on collision that killed two people today on Md. 136 near Cool Spring Road in Harford County was being blamed on icy roads.
State Police spokesman Chuck Jackson said the drivers of both cars died in the 6:40 a.m. crash that closed Md. 136 in both directions between U.S. 1 and Md. 22 near Churchville.
Their names were not released.
Jackson said the ice on Md. 136 formed suddenly sometime after 6 a.m.. State highway crews were called out to treat roads in parts of Harford County.
State Police at the Bel Air barracks investigated "numerous" accidents blamed on icy roads. Most of those involved property damage only, Jackson said.
Fred Davis, chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, said the low temperature overnight at the Bel Air barracks was 38 degrees, but colder pre-dawn lows north and east of Bel Air could have caused the road icing.
"We did have some rain up until last evening, and there could have been some residual moisture from that rain," Davis said. Fog thatformed and condensed in colder low spots also might have caused spotty icing.
"It's probably even worse to have that spotty ice," he said. "The trouble comes when people come along and hit that spot."
Slippery roads would be a novelty in this so-far unusually mild winter. No measureable snow has been recorded this season in the Baltimore area.
Davis said the least amount of snow ever recorded in downtown Baltimore was 0.7 inch in 1949-1950. Those records go back to 1871.
At the airport, where records go back 42 years, the least amount of snow recorded was 1.2 inches in the winter of 1972-73. That snow fell in one storm, which was also the latest first snowfall on record, on Feb. 21, 1973.