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Forecaster: 'Messy' winter storm on way

December 07, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Consider the snow over the weekend a warm-up.

A winter storm headed this way could produce snow, sleet and freezing rain, and a National Weather Service meteorologist said he is more concerned about the impact of the storm on areas such as Hagerstown and Hancock than on cities to the east like Baltimore.

The storm system is expected to start affecting Washington County today with possible snow and sleet.

Meteorologist Kevin Witt of the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said warm air is expected to move up from the south and pass over cold air as the system moves into Washington County. Witt predicted precipitation will begin between 2 and 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The forecast calls for snow and sleet before midnight, freezing rain and sleet between midnight and 3 a.m. Wednesday, and freezing rain after 3 a.m.

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The chance of precipitation is 100 percent.

New ice accumulation of one-tenth to three-tenths of an inch is possible, and new snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half-inch is possible, according to the forecast.

Rain or freezing rain is likely Wednesday, and should become all rain after 10 a.m., according to the forecast. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

"It's going to be a messy wintry storm," Witt said.

Eric Deike, manager for the City of Hagerstown's public works department, said his crews are standing by with salt ready to treat the city's 108 miles of roads.

Deike said the city has enough salt on hand for a couple of storms. Because of storage limitations, the city orders more salt as it is needed, Deike said.

o For updated weather forecasts, road conditions and school closures or delays, go to The Herald-Mail Accuweather

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