Winter storm warning canceled, leaving only slight snow accumulations

  • Snowfall totals around the region, as reported to the National Weather Service.
Snowfall totals around the region, as reported to the National… (National Weather Service )
March 06, 2013|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

Expectations of a storm to bring the heaviest snow in at least two years for the region have been dialed back as the National Weather Service has canceled its winter storm warning. High winds and wet roads remain a concern.

Check here for live blog updates on conditions and forecasts.

4:36 p.m.: Weather service meteorologists are no longer expecting any meaningful wintry precipitation Wednesday night, lifting the winter weather advisory for much of Central Maryland. Concerns remain over high winds in the Baltimore area and dangerous conditions along the coast, however, with rough surf and some rescues needed.

One fisherman has been rescued and two are missing in the waters 15 miles east of Assateague Island, the Coast Guard reported Wednesday afternoon.

The Coast Guard received a distress signal at 10:39 a.m. from the 67-foot fishing boat, Seafarer, which was disabled and being towed by a sister vessel when the line parted in 40-mph winds and 12-foot seas.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter dispatched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C, found one man on a life raft and rescued him. The unidentified man was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

The Coast Guard has deployed a 47-foot rescue boat from Station Chincoteague to continue the search.

Ocean City officials warned of higher-than-normal tides and beach erosion, with rough surf and wind gusts up to 50 mph through the evening.

A wind advisory was in effect until 11 p.m. for much of central and southern Maryland, with winds gusting to 45-50 mph expected.

2:40 p.m.: Odds for any late snow accumulations are waning, meaning what relatively few flakes have fallen across the region are likely to be all that's coming, according to one weather service forecaster.

The weather service canceled its winter storm warnings for the region about 2:30 p.m., replacing them with a winter weather advisory.

"We were expecting the cold air from out west to move in and modify the air mass over Central Maryland and give you some accumulating snow in the afternoon and evening, but it appears it won’t move in fast enough," said Calvin Meadows, a meteorological technician in the weather service's Sterling, Va., office. "The low is going to move away before that happens."

Snowfall totals around the region have not budged far from where they stood late Wednesday morning, with about 4 inches across northern Baltimore and Carroll counties, an inch or two in Howard County and just a trace at BWI Marshall Airport, according to weather service reports. meteorologist Bernie Rayno, who acknowledged getting a lot of spiteful messages on Twitter from snow lovers, said he is still holding out some hope for snow showers over Central Maryland in a video posted Wednesday afternoon. But the earlier calls for as much as 8-10 inches across the Baltimore area were clearly no longer in the cards.

Strong winds were meanwhile expected to continue. The Maryland Transportation Authority shut down the Bay Bridge because of high winds.

1:07 p.m.: Given widespread school and office closures, the scant precipitation made for an awkward snow day for many.

In downtown Towson, the only difference from any other nasty afternoon was a lack of bustling bodies. Some businesses made the best of the lack of snow.

At bakery La Cakerie in Towson, shop owners were prepared for a quiet day but decided to offer a limited menu and shortened hours. They took to social media to ensure that everyone who had to trudge to work today would be rewarded.

Shop co-owner Jason Hisley said the shop offered two cupcakes for the price of one and free coffee to those who did trek into Towson.

"It was a good thing to do for the community," Hisley said. "The people that had to go to work, at least they got a cupcake and a coffee."

12:35 p.m.: With more rain than snow in many areas, a coastal flood advisory has been enacted for Anne Arundel and Calvert counties. Snowfall accumulation forecasts have meanwhile been slashed again across Central Maryland.

The weather service is forecasting 4-6 inches from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. High tides on the western shore of the Chesapeake are expected to be 1.5 to 2 feet above normal this afternoon.

The storm is still carrying some intensity, with reports of thundersnow in the Washington suburbs and a special weather statement cautioning of heavy rain and up to 55 mph winds on the Eastern Shore.

The weather service reaffirmed a winter storm warning in effect for the Baltimore area about noon, saying chances for 4-8 inches of snow across the region remain through Wednesday evening. The warning is in effect through 3 a.m. Thursday.

11:10 a.m.: Some reports of light snow were made around Baltimore City via Twitter. Strong winds were meanwhile reported.

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