Look Out South County! Old Man Winter Is Cooking Up a Big Old Snowstorm
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect until Thursday at 10 p.m. The early predictions are for between 4 and 13 inches of snow, switching over to a mixture of sleet and rain. The event is expected to begin between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday. The snowfall should end around 3 p.m. on Thursday. The snow will start off heavy on Wednesday evening, moving in from the south. Snow is expected to mix with sleet and rain Thursday morning into Thursday afternoon. The event will end with snow.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has issued a State of Emergency ahead of this storm, this allows the state to call on members of the National Guard and allow emergency contracting by the Department of General Services to speed recovery efforts.
“Residents should have a disaster supply kit with water, non-perishable food, a battery- or crank-operated radio and other necessities in case of an extended power outage. Now is also the time to make sure cell phones and other devices are fully charged in case of a power outage,” the governor’s statement said.
Predictions are that the first snowfall will stick to the ground, because temperatures will stay below freezing all day Wednesday and be in the mid-20s Wednesday night. Temperatures will rise slightly and be in the mid-30s by Thursday afternoon. It’ll get colder by Thursday evening, with the wintry precipitation turning back over to snow before it is all over.
Expect power outages with icy conditions
There is also a threat of windy conditions to accompany the storm. Winds will be 10 to 20 MPH with gusts to 35 MPH late Wednesday night into Thursday. Heavy, wet snow coupled with gusty winds could lead to widespread power outages. Baltimore Gas and Electric has said that they are lining up workers to be in place for anticipated power outages. Call 877-778-2222 to report power outages and downed lines.
Please check in on neighbors who might need assistance, especially those who are elderly or infirm.
Contact Anne Arundel County Social Services (410-269-4500) or Lighthouse Shelter (410-263-1835) for homeless persons living in the area who may need to seek shelter during this winter weather event.
If possible, top off your tank on Wednesday. Power outages could affect neighborhood gas stations.
If you rely on well water, fill a bathtub with water to use for toilet flushing. Also fill pots and pans with water for drinking and food preparation.
Meteorologist Justin Berk posted to his Facebook that a lot of snow will come down quickly and heavily at first. He predicts that areas to the north and west of Washington will stay all snow, while areas to the east and south of the city will have a period of sleet, ice and freezing rain. Berk is also predicting that a clipper will move through on Friday with an additional 1 to 3 inches of snow.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools has made an announcement that, along with the previously scheduled two-hour early dismissal on Wednesday, half-day afternoon pre-kindergarten and ECI classes, afternoon sessions at the Centers for Applied Technology North and South, and Evening Middle School classes will be canceled on Wednesday, February 12. First-period Evening High School classes will also be canceled on Wednesday, but all other Evening High School classes will be held on schedule. Normal class schedules for all students are scheduled to resume on Thursday, February 13, but stay tuned for weather-related delays and closings.
Central Middle School’s STEM Night, currently slated for 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday evening, will be canceled if schools are closed on Thursday due to the snowfall. The event will be moved to February 20th, same times. If schools are delayed opening on Thursday, the STEM showcase will be carried out on schedule.
Stay safe out there and remember to take your time when driving. Icy conditions make braking an iffy proposition. Take your time. You won’t get there any faster if your car is wrapped around a tree!