The coming together of a cold front and warm, southerly breeze over Maryland is expected to yield a potentially dangerous brand of freezing rain Sunday, forecasters say.
Calling for a 1/10 of an inch of ice to accumulate, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for central and northeastern Maryland, including the Baltimore area, effective from 6 a.m. to noon Sunday. The advisory warns of icy roads and slippery sidewalks.
“The cold conditions leading up to this event may make it a dangerous situation for anyone travelling during this time,” the advisory reads. “Anyone travelling, especially on interstates 270, 70, 95, 695, and 83 should pay close attention to the weather Sunday.”
Saturday’s high temperature of 31 degrees is expected to drop to 22 overnight, according to the weather service forecast for BWI Marshall Airport.
As of Saturday morning, meteorologists predicted the freezing rain and sleet to combine forces before 10 a.m. Sunday and then freezing rain from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In a tweet, the Maryland State Highway Administration urged residents to avoid travel until the ice clears.
The wintery mix is expected to give way to rain, which could continue until 10 p.m. Sunday night, the forecast said. The high of 42 could fall as low as 25 degrees overnight, with winds gusting up to 23 mph.
“There is still some uncertainty to the exact timing of the precipitation, and this is important because the earlier the precipitation arrives, the more freezing rain there will be,” NWS meteorologists wrote in an online forecast discussion.
Hence why motorists should keep a close eye on the evolving forecast, they said. “Travelling may become very dangerous for a period Sunday morning/midday.”
The forthcoming wintery mix follows a pair of winter storms this week that blanketed the area with snow Monday and Friday.
Forecasters predict the cold front will continue to pass through the Maryland region Sunday night, leaving drier but windier and colder conditions in its wake.
The high Monday is 34, but it will plummet to 17 overnight, according to the localized forecast.
Tuesday will be colder yet, likely the coldest day of this winter to date, the forecast said: The high is 25 and the low is 16.
Wind chills will be “struggling to even reach 20 in the ‘warmest’ spots,” meteorologists wrote in the online forecast discussion.
Those gusts will calm overnight, and Wednesday will be warmer though hardly balmy.
The temperature should climb to 34 during a sunny day but decrease to 27 overnight as clouds settle over the area.
Forecasters considered the implications of the persistent freezing temperatures next week for Maryland’s waterways and bodies of water in their weather discussion.
“Given potential for a 36-hour period of below freezing temperatures across portions of the region in the coming days, ice may start to develop on stagnant rivers and lakes,” they wrote. “Larger bodies of water should remain largely ice free through the middle of next week.”