Mountain Snows Piling Up

The picture above is of I-68 at Keysers Ridge, MD…Tuesday morning 12/7/10

The unseasonably cold air pouring into central Maryland on strong northwest winds has triggered a heavy lake effect snow event in the mountains to our west.  The arctic air picks up moisture as it crosses the great lakes, then glides up the west side of the Appalachian mountains.  The upward glide causes the air to cool further, the moisture then condenses and falls as heavy snow.  At Bayard, WV on the southern border of Garrett Co., MD, 23.8″ of snow was measured on the ground this morning…a foot of that falling the past 24 hours.  At Terra Alta, WV, on the western border of Garrett Co., the snow depth this morning was reported as 15″.  Along with the heavy snow, bitter cold has invaded the region.  At Garrett Community College in McHenry, MD the low this morning was 7 and with temperatures hovering around 10 late this morning, the strong winds are producing wind chill readings  of 5 to 15 below zero.

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from western Allegany Co. into Garrett Co. into this evening.  Dangerous cold and another 6″ of snow is possible.  Travelers headed west on I-68 should prepare for severe winter weather.  The lake effect machine should shut down a bit on Thursday and Friday, before another potential winter storm approaches over the weekend.

Tom Tasselmyer

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