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Snow is in forecast

February 11, 2006|By ROBERT SNYDER

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

TRI-STATE -

There's snow, and a whole lot of it, in the forecast for the Tri-State area before the weekend winds up, meteorologists said Friday.

"There is going to be a major East Coast snowstorm this weekend," Bernie Rayno, expert senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.com, said late Friday. "We're going to see some snow here."

Between 4 and 8 inches of snow has been predicted for the northern Shenandoah Valley throughout the weekend, National Weather Service meteorologist Calvin Meadows said. The service released a heavy storm warning Friday.

Meadows said the storm, which is moving from the southwest to the northeast, is expected to begin early today and last through Sunday morning.

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The storm could gather strength by this afternoon and into the evening, Rayno said.

"This is going to be an intensifying storm system," Rayno said. "This could certainly result in travel problems (this) afternoon, and especially (tonight)."

Rayno said the region sits at the edge of two different possibilities, depending on which way the storm moves.

"All this storm has to do is track a little further, like 60 miles to the north and west, and you could be in the thick of the storm system," Rayno said. "Sixty miles to the south and east and you're not going to get too much."

About 6 to 12 inches of snow could fall west of Hagerstown in Allegany County and in Mineral County (W.Va.), and as much as 10 inches could fall in the central Shenandoah Valley, Meadows said.

"There'll be higher amounts in the higher terrains," Meadows said.

AccuWeather.com forecasts snowfall amounts of between 6 and 12 inches for central and northern Virginia to the Eastern Seaboard from Delaware north to the Atlantic provinces of Canada.

While temperatures will remain low through Sunday and into Monday, they will increase to about 40 degrees by Wednesday, just in time for more precipitation to possibly begin that night, Meadows said.

Rain mixed with snow could be in the forecast for Thursday, he said.

Increased storm activity and low temperatures could be in the cards for much of the month, Rayno said.

Rayno said even though last month was among the warmest, more tranquil Januarys on record, he predicts February will bring an end to that.

"We were lucky yo get off so easy," he said. "The month of February is going to be drastically different."

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