A "big and intense" storm was to hit Maryland late last night with snow, gusty winds and heavy rains that are likely to last through tomorrow, the National Weather Service said.
Winter storm warnings were issued for Western Maryland yesterday, and residents on the Eastern Shore and in the Baltimore-Washington area were warned about possible flooding.
The storm coming up the coast could bring winds averaging 30 to 40 mph, and about 3 inches of rain was expected.
"This one will be worse than last week's northeaster," said Christopher A. Strong, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. "It's a very big and intense storm. We've got rain, flood watches, winter storm warnings and coastal flood watches. Between all of that and the wind, it's going to be a busy period for Maryland."
If cold air is pulled in from the Ohio Valley, forecasters said, the storm could produce as much as 2 feet of snow in Western Maryland. If not, a heavy mix of snow and rain is expected for that area.
By tonight, at least 2 inches of rain was expected in the Baltimore area, with a possibility that it would turn to snow by late evening or early tomorrow.
Last week's storm dropped as much as 4 feet of snow on the southern Appalachians and pummeled the Atlantic shore with high winds and rain. In Ocean City, wind gusts of up to 70 mph tore off roofs and high waves battered sand dunes and flooded streets.
Yesterday, Ocean City employees and residents were bracing for the storm. Residents in low-lying areas were asked to move to higher ground.
Public works crews made a last-ditch effort yesterday to finish replacing hundreds of cubic feet of sand lost in last week's storm.
"The Ocean City Fire Company has people on standby," said Clay Stamp, the city's director of emergency management.
Pub Date: 2/04/98