Baltimore, MD - Jan. 14, 2022 - 10:37AM - Here we go. Yet another impactful winter storm headed our way! And this one is going to have major impacts to our area.
As we discussed earlier, there were 2 possible outcomes. An inland track, and a coastal track. At this point, its looking more and more likely that we will have an inland track, with the center of low pressure riding up I-95. This will bring us a mixed bag of precipitation, with heavy snow to start, then switching to sleet and freezing rain, and eventually over to plan rain.
Snow should start between 3 and 5PM Sunday for central Maryland, before transitioning to sleet and freezing rain for a few hours after about 8-10PM. Then plain rain through early Monday, before potentially switching back to a mix or snow again late Monday morning.
As far as snow accumulations go, we think that areas along and SE of I-95 will see a general 1-4". For areas between I-95 and Rt-27, a general 4-6" is expected, with the lower end closer to I-95. Along and west of I-81 could see well over 6" with many areas potentially seeing up to a foot. Snow will fall heavily while it lasts, with snowfall rates of 1-3" per hour not out the question. Roads will rapidly become snow covered and so travel is not recommended. Confidence in snow accumulations at this time is medium.
The other, and quite frankly more concerning aspect of the storm is the freezing rain and wind possibilities. As rain begins late Sunday night, road temps should still be at or below freezing, even if air temps are slightly above. Because of that, rain will freeze on contact with any untreated surface, including trees and powerlines. Anywhere from a tenth to 2 tenths of an inch of ice accretion is expected, with the highest amounts across central Maryland. Confidence in ice accumulations at this time are medium.
Winds could easily gust in the 40-45MPH range during the storm, with at least some potential of 50MPH wind gusts. This, combined with the heavy wet snow and ice accumulations, is a recipe for downed trees, power lines, and potentially widespread power outages. In addition, the high winds may result in near blizzard conditions along and west of route 27. Now would be the time to prepare for power outages and very dangerous if not impossible travel conditions.
The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WATCH from Sunday afternoon through Monday late morning for Frederick and Washington counties. As confidence increases, this watch may need to be expanded to the east. Remember, there has to be at least a 50% chance of 5" or more of snow for a winter storm watch to be issued.