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Winter storm watch in effect

area could see up to 8 inches of snow

Chance of precipitation Wednesday and Wednesday night is 100 percent

January 25, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

The forecast for Wednesday might be 4 to 8 inches of snow in the Hagerstown area, but Edwin Plank said weather officials haven't been too accurate lately.

Plank, director of the Washington County Highways Department, pointed to last Thursday when forecasters said 3 inches of snow could fall on the area.

It didn't happen.

"Maybe it will do that again, and we'll be lucky," Plank said Tuesday afternoon.

National Weather Service meteorologist Heather Sheffield said some of the recent storms have been tough to predict.

But Sheffield said the weather system now moving toward the area is larger, and there is a higher probability of snowfall.

"We have confidence with this one. It will snow more than 5 inches," Sheffield said from the National Weather Service office in Sterling, Va.

The Hagerstown area was already under a winter storm watch Tuesday afternoon, and that might be upgraded to a winter storm warning, Sheffield said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the winter storm watch was being issued for the Hagerstown area until midnight Wednesday, Sheffield said.

The NWS said 3 to 7 inches of snow could fall during the day Wednesday, and it is possible the area could end up with 8 inches, Sheffield said.

The chance of precipitation Wednesday and Wednesday night is 100 percent, according to the weather service.

Plank said the county highways department is in good shape, with materials to treat roads and equipment ready to go.

A decision was made not to pretreat roads because it was felt that possible rains might wash it away, Plank said.

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