Skip Navigation
Print this page





Visit our "In the News" page for additional information on these storms and the declarations.
Hazard:  Severe Winter Storm (See Mitigation Page for description on all hazards.)
  • 2014-15 Winter Season Outlook 
  • How do I prepare for a Winter Weather Event? 
  • Where should I go for information?
  • Winter Weather FAQ's  
  • Local Resources  
2015 Winter Season Outlook
As of November 21, 2014: 
NOAA indicates that it is possible for El-Nino to develop this winter.  This could mean western areas may see warmer temperatures while southern states could see below average.  Percipitation is more likely to be above average for southern climes.

The Precipitation Outlook favors:

  • Above-average precipitation in the Southern tier, from the southern half of California, across the Southwest, South-central and Gulf coast states.
  • Above-average precipitation in the Southern Alaska,  and the Alaskan panhandle.  Below average in the midwest and Pacific Northwest.


The Temperature Outlook favors:

  • Warmer-than-average temperatures in Western states.
  • Below average temperatures in the South-Central and Southeastern states.

The rest of the country falls into the "equal chance" catagory, meaning that there is not a strong or reliable enough climate signal in these areas to favor one category over the others, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.

Prior to, and during a severe winter storm, residents are encouraged to do the following:
  • Listen to local news sources or visit for information on shelters
  • Prior to the storm make preparations to wait out a winter storm at home.
  • Familiarize yourself with proper generator use and safety.
  • Take extreme caution when using space heaters and candles
  • Learn ways to winterize your home
  • Protect plumbing to reduce the chance of frozen and bursting pipes.
  • Visit, for more information on what to do before, during and even after a severe winter storm.
Get Involved!
Be apart of the county 4-wheel driver program to assisst in the transport of residents to dialysis. Contact OEM at 410-222-0600 for more information or to volunteer.
Developa buddy network of concerned residents and volunteers that will check on elderly or disabled citizens. See Volunteer.
Where should I go to find out what is happening locally?
When severe weather is forecasted, it is important for residents and business owners to monitor the situation and act proactively to protect themselves, their family and their property. Local officialls have a variety of ways to get information to the public. Emergency Information Sources.
Surviving The Storm: Anne Arundel County's Official Guide to Emergency Preparedness has information on emergency preparedness kits, local shelters and evacuation routes, creating a plan including one for your pet, as well as a list of important phone numbers and websites that you should keep handy in the event of an emergency. Open/Print a Guide.
Who do I contact if I need my road plowed or salted?   
The Anne Arundel County Bureau of Highways manages snow plowing operations of county owned roads only. For storms over 4", call (410) 222-4040. Under 4"? Call your district. The State Highway Administration owns all the roads in the county that have a Route Number, e.g., RT648, RT2, etc. If you need assistance with one of these roads, you can contact them at (410) 841-1002.
Weather FAQ's (Source: NOAA)
What Qualifies as a Severe Winter Storm?      
A severe winter storm event includes a storm with heavy snow, ice, or freezing rain - all of which can cause significant problems for residents. The County's greatest winter stroms are "Nor'easters."
What is a Nor'easter?
A strong low pressure system that affects the Mid Atlantic and New England States. It can form over land or over the coastal waters. These winter weather events are notorious for producing heavy snow, rain, and tremendous waves that crash onto Atlantic beaches, often causing beach erosion and structural damage. Wind gusts associated with these storms can exceed hurricane force in intensity. A nor'easter gets its name from the continuously strong northeasterly winds blowing in from the ocean ahead of the storm and over the coastal areas.
What is the difference between and Advisory, Watch and Warning?
An Advisory Highlights special weather conditions that are less serious than a warning. They are for events that may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.
Warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.
Common Winter Storm Terminology:
Snow Squall - A snow squall is an intense, but limited duration, period of moderate to heavy snowfall, accompanied by strong, gusty surface winds and possibly lightning (generally moderate to heavy snow showers). Snow accumulation may be significant.

Winter Storm Watch - This product is issued by the National Weather Service when there is a potential for heavy snow or significant ice accumulations, usually at least 24 to 36 hours in advance. The criteria for this watch can vary from place to place.
Winter Storm Warning - This product is issued by the National Weather Service when a winter storm is producing or is forecast to produce heavy snow or significant ice accumulations. The criteria for this warning can vary from place to place.
Ice Storm Warning - This product is issued by the National Weather Service when freezing rain produces a significant and possibly damaging accumulation of ice. The criteria for this warning varies from state to state, but typically will be issued any time more than 1/4" of ice is expected to accumulate in an area.
Blizzard Warning - Issued for winter storms with sustained or frequent winds of 35 mph or higher with considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to 1/4 of a mile or less. These conditions are expected to prevail for a minimum of 3 hours.
Winter Weather Advisory - This product is issued by the National Weather Service when a low pressure system produces a combination of winter weather (snow, freezing rain, sleet, etc.) that present a hazard, but does not meet warning criteria.
Freezing Rain Advisory - Issued when freezing rain or freezing drizzle is forecast but a significant accumulation is not expected. However, even small amounts of freezing rain or freezing drizzle may cause significant travel problems.
Wind Chill Advisory - The National Weather Service issues this product when the wind chill could be life threatening if action is not taken. The criteria for this warning varies from state to state.
Additional Resources:
Office of Emergency Management          410-222-0600
BGE Power Outage Hotline: 1-877-778-2222  or  Website

AACO Department of Public Works

DPW Snow Information Page



Social Networking Icons (Fb, Twitter, RSS, Pinterest, Email List)

Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000