Forcast calls for up to 6 inches of snow today

February 07, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A fast-moving low-pressure system carrying plenty of Gulf Coast moisture wound its way northeast yesterday and could dump up to 6 inches of snow in parts of Maryland by this afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

The forecast prompted a winter storm warning yesterday as the forecast called for snow to begin blanketing the state between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The winter storm warning will stay in effect through this afternoon when the snow is expected to taper off, weather officials said.

Last night in Baltimore, flurries were beginning by about 6 p.m. as the storm system eased into the region. Heavy accumulation was expected between midnight and 10 a.m. today as the system moves offshore.

The State Highway Administration began mobilizing its fleet of more than 2,000 salt trucks and plow drivers yesterday to coat roadways with a salt brine and clear major thoroughfares. Officials said motorists need to remember to drive carefully particularly on icy bridges, ramps and overpasses.

The agency has spent $5 million more than it had allocated for snow-clearing expenses in the current budget year, but will deal with the cost overruns through a budget amendment process after the winter, said spokeswoman Valerie Edgar.

After the snow and what was expected to be a difficult morning commute, forecasters said the region can expect high temperatures in the mid-30s today.

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