Winter Storm Stella brought down several inches of snow last night, hitting the lower end of forecasters’ projections for Baltimore’s first snow of the winter.
State and city officials wanted to be extra careful with a storm that threatening to bring as much 10 inches of snow to the city last night. Gov. Hogan called a state of emergency to enable faster deployment of plows and other resources, and the city activated phase one of its emergency plan, requiring all cars to have chains or all-weather tires.
But by the time most area residents had awoken this morning, they could spot just a few inches of snow on the ground. According to weather maps, Baltimore, Annapolis and D.C. all fell within a zone just south of Carroll, Harford and northern Baltimore counties that received one to four inches. The counties to the north, meanwhile, are still forecast to receive as much as 10 inches of snow through Tuesday evening.
Of course, the snow is only half the battle. Stella brought sleet as well, producing a thin coat of ice and slush to mix in with the snow. For this reason, Mayor Catherine Pugh said clearly at a press conference this morning while the city was “spared” from the worst, “we really do we want people to stay off the roads.” City workers have salted them thoroughly and continued plowing them overnight through this morning, prioritizing main thoroughfares over residential side streets.
Given the slippery conditions, a lot of Baltimoreans are off today. All area school systems and colleges in the city have called off classes, and city and county government offices are closed, per WBAL. Unfortunately, the snow has cancelled or postponed most scheduled events around the city, so families will need to get creative if looking for something to do nearby today. Travelers who were set to fly will also need to find a way to pass the time, as all flights from BWI for today are cancelled.
The National Weather Service predicts total snow accumulations will fall between four and six inches, with about a tenth of an inch of ice on top by the day’s end. The sleet and freezing rain that greeted us this morning are forecast to change to snow this afternoon, with the winter weather tapering off in the early evening.
Some advice to sledders: With below-freezing temperatures and wind gusts of up to 35 miles an hour predicted for today, it won’t hurt to cover up your face while taking on the slopes of Federal Hill, Patterson Park or Druid Hill Park.
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