An icy mixture expected

Experts say precipitation might continue through evening rush

December 15, 2005|By NICOLE FULLER | NICOLE FULLER,SUN REPORTER

Light snow was expected to begin falling by 8 a.m. today around the Baltimore metropolitan area, changing to a mixture of sleet and freezing rain by midmorning and making for hazardous travel conditions throughout the region during the evening commute.

The National Weather Service has issued a 24-hour winter weather advisory beginning today at 7 a.m. for the city and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties and an ice storm warning for northern Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick counties.

The mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain was expected to fall in intervals through the evening rush hour, according to the weather service.

In the city and areas to the south, a 10th of an inch of ice and sleet was predicted. But forecasters said the temperature could be warm enough in the city so that the precipitation will fall mostly as rain.

In areas north of the city, at least a quarter of an inch of ice was forecast.

"All it takes is just a little bit of ice to cause some significant problems," said Brandon Peloquin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's regional office in Sterling, Va.

"In addition to dangerous travel, expected north and west of the city, these conditions can sometimes lead to power loss and branches snapping off of trees," Peloquin said. "And that will add to the danger of the situation."

The precipitation was expected to decrease visibility to less than a mile, he said.

High temperatures in the low 30s were forecast for today with overnight lows in the teens.

In far Western Maryland, Garrett County was under a winter storm warning, with 6 to 9 inches of snow expected.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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