In light of a foreboding forecast, Harford County Government and Public Schools have announced the closure of school activities and other facilities in advance of what is expected to become a major winter storm this weekend.
The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook and Winter Storm Warning for much of Maryland, with snowfall totals Saturday predicted to accumulate up to nearly two feet in some areas.
As you can deduce from the photo (showing a fairly empty parking lot at The Festival in Bel Air at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday), the snow fell as expected and kept people indoors on what should be one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year.
Harford County Public Schools announced Friday that all weekend activities had been cancelled. All after school activities for Friday, December 18th WILL be held as scheduled.
However, ALL activities for Saturday, December 19th and Sunday, December 20th will be cancelled due to the impending inclement weather. Again, ALL activities, including Parks and Rec, HCPS athletics, church services, and scheduled school activities, are cancelled for Saturday, December 19th and Sunday, December 20th.
Due to the pending weekend forecast, all Harford County Parks & Recreation programs in & on Public School property AND Parks & Recreation buildings & property will be closed & programs cancelled both Sat., Dec. 19 and Sun., Dec. 20, 2009.
Also, the Harford Waste Disposal Center located on Scarboro Road will be closed on Saturday, December 19 in anticipation of the severe weather event being forecasted by the National Weather Service.
According to the National Weather Service:
Winter Storm Warning
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1207 PM EST FRI DEC 18 2009
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-WASHINGTON-FREDERICK MD-CARROLL-
NORTHERN BALTIMORE-HARFORD-MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-SOUTHERN BALTIMORE-PRINCE GEORGES-ANNE ARUNDEL-CALVERT-LOUDOUN-FAIRFAX-ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-MORGAN-BERKELEY-JEFFERSON-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…WASHINGTON…HAGERSTOWN…FREDERICK…
WESTMINSTER…GAITHERSBURG…COLUMBIA…BALTIMORE…ANNAPOLIS…LEESBURG…FAIRFAX…ALEXANDRIA…FALLS CHURCH…MARTINSBURG…CHARLES TOWN
1207 PM EST FRI DEC 18 2009
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY…
A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS…HEAVY SNOW WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 20 INCHES THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT.
* TIMING…SNOW WILL BEGIN BETWEEN 11 PM AND 2 AM TONIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL BE HEAVIEST BETWEEN 8 AM AND 6 PM SATURDAY.
* TEMPERATURES…UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S THROUGH THE EVENT…LOW TO MID 30S IN COASTAL SOUTHERN MARYLAND.
* WINDS…10 TO 20 MPH THROUGH THE EVENT…WITH GUSTS OF 25 TO 30 MPH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE VERY RAPIDLY SATURDAY MORNING AND WILL MAKE TRAVEL EXTREMELY TREACHEROUS.
Maryland State Police are also anticipating activating the state’s snow emergency plan:
STATE POLICE REMIND MOTORISTS OF ANTICIPATED SNOW EMERGENCY PLAN
(Pikesville, MD) – Motorists are reminded of highway restrictions should a snow emergency plan be activated as the Maryland State Police, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, State Highway Administration and other state agencies work together to address dangerous situations that could occur with the anticipated snowfall.
With the expectation of inclement weather, state police are reminding motorists when the snow emergency plan is declared, the law requires certain precautions. Parking is prohibited on roads and streets designated as snow emergency routes. All unattended vehicles along major roads will be towed. A motorist whose car or truck has been towed can contact the local state police barrack for information regarding their vehicle.
All motorists are required to use approved mud and snow tires or chains while operating their vehicle during a declared snow emergency. In order to better assist motorists and enhance law enforcement duties, the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division will deploy 65 additional personnel equipped with four-wheel drive patrol vehicles to supplement barrack personnel across the state.
Commercial vehicles are invited to wait out the storm at one of ten Maryland State Police scalehouse parking lots that will be available throughout the weekend. The following is a listing of all the Maryland scalehouse locations:
Delmar on US 13 in Wicomico County
Finzel on I-68 Eastbound in Garrett County
Hyattstown on I-270 in Montgomery County
Parkton on I-83 Southbound Baltimore County
New Market on I-70 Eastbound in Frederick County
Upper Marlboro on US 301 in Prince George’s County
West Friendship on 1:70 Westbound in Howard County
College Park, Park & Ride on I-95/495 in Prince George’s County
Conowingo on US 1 in Harford County
Cecilton on US 301 Southbound in Cecil County