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Winter Weather Advisory In Effect Through Saturday; Blizzard Warning Issued For 3 Eastern Shore Counties

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Friday and Saturday are Alert Days due to the threat of snow and wind from a Nor'easter that will rapidly intensify as it moves offshore of Maryland.

We started off our Alert Day with a cold front triggering scattered snow showers across parts of Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford and Howard Counties.

Our more significant weather event won't begin until later Friday afternoon.

A shift towards the coast in the path of the Nor'easter has upped the Baltimore area's chance for several inches of snow.

There is a Winter Weather Advisory in effect at 4 p.m. Friday for the Interstate 95 corridor, including Baltimore City, as well as Allegany, Baltimore, Garrett, Harford and Howard counties.

Areas of central Maryland included in the advisory could pick up 1 to 3 inches of snow whereas southern Maryland could see closer to 5 inches.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for places east of the Chesapeake Bay, where 4 to 9 inches of snow are expected. The lower half of the Eastern Shore could pick up close to 12 inches.

A Blizzard Warning is in effect for Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday. Those areas on the Eastern Shore could see between 8 to 12 inches of accumulation and wind gusts of up to 50 mph.

Heavy blowing snow could reduce visibility to a quarter-mile or less for over three hours.

Gusty winds could down tree branches and power lines. As for the timing, a light rain/snow mix will likely begin in Maryland Friday afternoon. 

Temperatures will likely top out in the mid to upper 30s, so we won't see the transition to all snow until after sunset. Places west of I-95 should see the snow tapering off Friday evening.

The coastal low takes control of our forecast around that time, causing winds to shift northwest and snow to continue around the Bay.

By sunrise Saturday morning, that low will be rapidly intensifying sending winds gusting between 40-50 mph and heavy snow on the Eastern Shore. The snow will depart by Saturday afternoon, but the gusty winds will remain.

The combination of frigid temperatures in the 20s and whipping winds mean wind chills in the single digits and low teens. Much of Maryland will see wind chills in the single digits and below zero Saturday night.

Winds should calm significantly by the time we wake up Sunday morning. 

Our Sunday will be mostly sunny with highs in the low 30s and west winds between 5-10 mph.

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