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Washington County to miss possible blizzard this weekend

December 20, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

Washington County is expected to miss a winter storm this weekend that could drop up to six inches of snow in Garrett County and create blizzard conditions that could make driving dangerous, according to the National Weather Service and state highway officials.

Although Hagerstown could see rain and snow showers after 10 a.m. Friday, the heaviest snowfall is expected to fall along a line on the western edge of Allegany County, said Andy Woodcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

The heavy snow will extend west from there and the Maryland State Highway Administration said there could be blowing and drifting snow in the hard hit areas.

The storm is being characterized as an “up slope event,” where moisture will be pushed up the Allegheny Highlands, Woodcock said. The moisture will then freeze and create the snow in western Allegany and Garrett counties, Woodcock said.

“(In) Hagerstown, its just going to be windy,” said Woodcock, referring to Saturday’s weather.

Saturday’s National Weather Service forecast for Hagerstown calls for mostly sunny skies with wind gusts up to 48 mph. The high temperature for Hagerstown on Saturday is expected to be near 41 degrees.

Little or no snow accumulation is expected in Hagerstown on Friday.

State highway crews said they are ready for the snow in Allegany and Garrett counties. State highway officials are asking motorists to make sure their vehicles are in good condition if they must travel. Motorists can call 511 for current weather and traffic information and “Know Before You Go,” state highway officials said.

 During snow storms of six inches or more, tractor trailer drivers may use several park and ride lots as safe havens instead of parking on ramps and along roadsides, highway officials said in a statement about the storm headed to Garrett and Allegany counties.

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