Sunny weather melts record-setting snow in Baltimore area Season's 54.9 inches beats amount from '63-'64

February 18, 1996|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF

Bright sunshine, with temperatures rising into the 30s, yesterday helped to burn off some of the nearly 10 inches of fluffy snow that buried the area Friday and set a seasonal snowfall record of 54.9 inches at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

More sunshine is expected today with temperatures in the low to mid-30s.

State Highway Administration road crews worked on shifts overnight, mostly in southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, and in the Annapolis-Arnold area, an SHA spokesman said.

Wind-whipped snow in those areas and in parts of the metropolitan area, such as northern Baltimore and Harford counties, was causing problems yesterday by suddenly covering previously cleared sections of road, the SHA spokesman said.

City and county crews had opened most streets in the metropolitan area to traffic by mid-morning yesterday.

Meteorologists at the airport said the band of snow "oscillated" as it passed through Maryland, leading to a wide variance in snow depths, from 2.5 inches in Frederick to as much as 14

inches in parts of Anne Arundel County.

State Police said disabled vehicles dotted roads in many places around the state yesterday, but reported that roads generally were clear, or at least passable, and that no serious accidents had occurred.

The snowfall record, which broke the record of 51.4 inches set in the winter of 1963-1964, may rise. Meteorologists at the airport yesterday forecast overnight temperatures in the teens and 20s, and a "dusting" of snow from a dry cold front expected to sweep through the area.

"And there are another four or five weeks of winter weather," said one meteorologist, recalling last month's blizzard and the several smaller snows that followed it.

Rain, accompanying a warming trend that could reach the PTC 40-degree level by mid-week, presents a potential flood threat in some areas, meteorologists said.

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