Maryland Endures Snow Storm, Cancels Classes for the First Time all Semester

By Jessica Feldman
Community Copy Editor

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon for several Maryland counties, including Anne Arundel County and Prince George’s County, according to CBS Baltimore.   

The snow began coming down around 6:30 p.m. on Monday. The heaviest snow was supposed fall between midnight and 8 a.m. Tuesday, which would have impacted many roads in the area, as well as cause power outages. According to USA Today, Baltimore planned to see 6-10 inches and the Washington D.C. area expected 4-8 inches.

Throughout the night, the snow was expected reach rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour, and also fluctuate from rain or sleet. The storm, labeled Stella by weather.com, has been described as a major nor’easter that would produce a “rapid drop in atmospheric pressure which indicates strengthening.”  

The storm may undergo “bombogenesis,” a term used in the winter to describe powerful low-pressure systems that intensify rapidly. This happens when cold air mass contrasts with warmer air from the south, causing the air to rise and blizzard-like conditions to occur.

By Monday afternoon, the University of Maryland had cancelled classes for the evening and the following day.

By Tuesday morning, College Park and the surrounding regions faced only about two inches of snow, which affected roads and sidewalks in the area. It continued to snow on and off throughout the day, along with low temperatures and winds ranging from 20-30 mph, according to weather.com.  

Maryland has faced spurs of warm weather over the past few months, causing this storm to come as a shock to many.

“January was the third warmest on record, February was the second warmest on record,” Timothy Canty, a research assistant professor and director within the department of atmospheric and oceanic science at this university, said. “March is starting out cold. The data tell us that the planet is warming and that may lead to more extreme weather events.”

Climate - Snow

Snow covers McKeldin Mall in February 2014. Photo by Rebecca Torchia

“However, it’s very difficult to determine if one snow storm is just an odd weather event versus something that is being influenced by the long term change in surface temperatures,” he said.

If the temperature continues to drop, it is possible that the snow will freeze over, making it hard for many to travel on Wednesday morning.

“The snow day came at the perfect time during midterms – I really needed today to study,” Tracy Wilkinson, a senior hearing and speech sciences major, said. “I’m shocked it took us until March to get a snow day, but I’m not complaining. If my exam gets cancelled I will be even more happy.”

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