Blizzard-weary U.S. Eyes New Storm

BALTIMORE, Feb. 8 (UPI) — The federal government will be closed for a second straight day as the mid-Atlantic state braced for more snow on top of last week’s blizzard, officials said.

The Office of Personnel Management said in a message on its Web site federal agencies in the Washington area will be closed Tuesday. Emergency federal workers “are expected to report for work on time” but most non-emergency workers’ absences will be excused.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Jackson told The Baltimore Sun that even as the region was digging out from more than 2 feet of snow in many areas, a new storm was on the way for Tuesday night — which under some computer models was suggesting snow totals as high as 10 to 20 inches.

“We’re not looking, certainly, at anything as significant as what we just had. But we are looking at the potential for winter-storm-watch-criteria snowfall,” Jackson told the newspaper.

The Weather Service was only going as high as 5 inches in its predictions, but some private forecasters were saying the new storm’s moisture content is hinting that much more snow was possible.

The Sun said if Baltimore receives as little 3 inches of snow from the new storm, the city will break its all-time record for total snowfall in a single winter season, now set at 62.5 inches from the winter of 1995-1996.

In Pittsburgh, forecasters were eyeing new storm totals of 4 to 8 inches of snow.

“This does bring up some concerns considering that the roads might not be in good shape yet,” National Weather Service meteorologist Charlie Woodrum told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “Ground temperatures are going to be well below freezing, so any snow that falls is going to stick pretty quickly.”

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