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Heaviest accumulations of snow should miss Hagerstown area, according to weather service

February 18, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

Snow is expected Sunday in Western Maryland and West Virginia, but the heaviest accumulations should miss the Hagerstown area, the National Weather Service said Saturday.

As of 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the weather service was forecasting only a 40 percent chance of snow for Hagerstown on Sunday. The snow was expected to begin falling after 1 p.m., with accumulations of less than a half inch, according to the NWS. The high temperature Sunday was expected to reach 37 degrees.

There's a 30 percent chance of addtional snow Sunday night, with a low temperature around 26 degrees, according to the weather service.

No winter storm advisories, watches or warnings were in effect for the Tri-State area as of late Saturday morning.

The Maryland State Highway Administration said Friday it is ready for whatever the storm brings.

SHA crews will be pre-treating interstates and major primary roads in Western Maryland and the Baltimore/Washington metro areas with salt brine Saturday, SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters said in a news release.

Pre-treatment delays the initial bonding of snow and ice from adhering to the pavement.

SHA crews loaded trucks with salt Friday and will be positioned prior to the beginning of precipitation early Sunday. The SHA will also deploy heavy-duty tow trucks at strategic locations along interstate highways to respond quickly to tractor-trailer and large truck incidents.

“Whether a dusting or a repeat of ‘Snowmaggedon,’ SHA crews are up for the challenge,” Peters said.

The weather service reports an 80 percent chance of snow on Sunday in the Hagerstown area, with high temperatures near 37 degrees, then dropping to about 24 overnight. Snow is likely until about 1 a.m. Monday morning before sunny skies return during the day.

In West Virginia, the weather service has already issued a winter storm watch for much of the state on Sunday. The weather service said the system will be moving from the South through the Mid-Atlantic states, bringing the potential for at least 5 inches of snow.

Suffern said the majority of the heavy accumulations will be in central and Northern Virginia.

Motorists can check the SHA’s plans on its website at www.sha.maryland.gov.

They can also find out about major accidents, traffic delays, estimated travel times and weather conditions by dialing 511 or going to www.md511.org.

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