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Weather forecast - The ice cometh

December 15, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

WASHINGTON COUNTY

karenh@herald-mail.com

Ice could turn roads into skating rinks as a messy winter mix is expected to coat the area today and Friday.

As a consolation, the storm should pave the way for warmer temperatures this weekend, forecasters said Wednesday.

"We're going to have snow at first ... and that is going to be getting started around midday (today)," AccuWeather meteorologist John Gresiak said. Snowfall accumulations could top 1 to 3 inches, Gresiak said, "and then we really have a lot of fun (Thursday) night."

According to Gresiak, snow will change to sleet and freezing rain today about 9 p.m. About 0.2 inches to 0.4 inches of ice could cover the ground, and there might be enough ice to snap power lines, Gresiak said.

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National Weather Service hydrometeorologist Calvin Meadows said Wednesday he believes the storm will generate little snow. Ice accumulations could begin by daybreak today, he said.

"It may start as a brief period of snow, but it will change over quickly to ice and sleet," Meadows said.

The storm could generate 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of ice, Meadows said.

"Little or snow accumulation, it's going to be primarily an ice producer," Meadows said.

Ice could hamper commuters tonight and Friday, Gresiak said.

"There will probably be a pretty good glazing of freezing rain (tonight,)" he said.

While Meadows said lower-than-normal temperatures will continue into next week, Gresiak said the ice storm will bring some relief from bone-chilling cold.

According to i4weather.net, a Web site maintained by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer, the average low temperature so far in December is 26.2 degrees. As of Wednesday about 6:30 p.m., the recorded low was only 3.7 degrees - far balmier than the Dec. 14 record set in 1898 of minus 11 degrees.

The average December high temperature so far is 42.4 degrees, according to i4weather.net.

According to Gresiak, weekend high temperatures should be in the mid- to upper-30s.

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