Snow, sleet, freezing rain give winter wake-up call More of same likely today across state

January 10, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

Now, this is more like it.

After unseasonably warm weather early last week, Maryland received a winter wake-up call yesterday, with almost every variation of precipitation -- rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow -- falling across the state.

A repeat performance was promised for today.

"We will have a mixed bag of weather across the region," said Richard Diener, a forecaster with the National Weather Service at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. "There will be rain, sleet or snow depending on where you live and what time it is."

In addition, a combination of a full moon and strong northeast winds will bring higher than normal tides to the Atlantic coast and the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, prompting the weather service to issue a flood watch for today.

Tides are expected to be 3 feet above normal along the coast and 1 to 2 feet above normal on the bay, Mr. Diener said. High tide is at 8:37 a.m. and 8:57 p.m. today at Ocean City. Some flooding could occur in Ocean City, Annapolis and in Baltimore's Fell's Point area.

The culprit creating the winter storm was a cold, high-pressure ,, system covering an area from New England to Maryland's northern bordercounties that was moving slowly south, Mr. Diener said.

"At the same time, a series of low-pressure centers moved along the southern edge of the high-pressure system and threw warm moist air on top of the colder air," he said. The result was snow across the northern counties and rain across the southern counties and the Eastern Shore.

"Compounding the problem [today] is a slightly stronger low-pressure center that is going to be throwing more water as it approaches the periphery of the high, and this is going to start the cycle all over again," Mr. Diener said.

Look for precipitation around noon, with snow probable in the northern and western counties and rain south and east of Baltimore.

Temperatures will not rise much above freezing, Mr. Diener said. As nightfall approaches, the snow line will steadily move south and east. Accumulations of snow will range from 1 to 2 inches.

In Baltimore, the precipitation will begin as rain or freezing rain and turn to snow shortly before sunset.

Yesterday, the rain and snow caused few problems. The northern counties received about 2 to 2 1/2 inches by yesterday afternoon. Up to 2 1/4 inches fell in the western counties and 2 inches in Baltimore, most of which melted by noon.

In most areas, the snow clinging to trees and shrubs was a visual treat that lasted well into yesterday afternoon. It was deep enough to cover lawns, but streets and most sidewalks remained pretty much bare.

Only Frederick and Baltimore counties declared snow emergencies, and Frederick county called its off after only two hours.

State police reported no major weather-related accidents.

At their busiest time, about 1,000 State Highway Administration workers were using 600 pieces of equipment to sand, salt and keep the roads clear.

"It was really a well-handled storm," said Chuck Brown, a SHA spokesman. "We were prepared for it and kept on top of it."

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