A pre-Thanksgiving storm dropped snow over western Maryland and parts of western and central Virginia yesterday, while the Washington metropolitan area escaped with a few morning snowflakes which later turned to slushy rain.
Snow emergency plans were placed in effect in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties in Maryland, where police reported icy roads and hazardous driving conditions. By late afternoon, Oakland, in Garrett County, reported four inches accumulation, according to the National Weather Service.
In Virginia, snow fell west of Interstate Rte. 95, leaving accumulations of four inches in Roanoke, two to three inches in Charlottesville and up to two inches in parts of Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Ten inches of snow, the deepest accumulation in Virginia yesterday, was reported in Mountain Lake in Giles County, 4,000 feet above sea level. Schools were closed in Carroll, Nelson, Bedford and Roanoke counties.
The precipitation tapered off last night to drizzle and patches of fog and was expected to give way today to partly sunny skies in most of the region and temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s.
Winter conditions are expected to continue in western Maryland, where temperatures will remain in the mid-20s, Walter Green, of the National Weather Service, said. The snows were the product of a complex low pressure system originating in North Carolina. The system gathered moisture as it approached the coast, he said.
The snowstorm was a surprise in some parts of Virginia. Four inches is "not normal" in Lynchburg this time of year, said Ken Hudgins, chief National Weather Service forecaster there.