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Baltimore weather for March 17: afternoon snow showers

National Weather Service forecast map
National Weather Service forecast map
Map courtesy National Weather Service

Brian's exclusive forecast for Baltimore, Annapolis, and northern Delmarva:

Today: Afternoon snow showers. Windy and cold. Additional accumulation up to 1 inch. The high will be around 30.

Tonight: Variable cloudiness and cold with a few snow flurries. The low will be around 25.

Tuesday: Variable cloudiness with scattered snow showers. The high will be in the upper 30s.

Tuesday Night: A few rain or snow showers with a low around 32.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a few rain showers. Milder with a high in the upper 40s.

The extended forecast calls for a mostly sunny sky on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with lows in the 30s and highs around 50. Clouds and sun on Sunday with a few rain showers. The low will be in the upper 30s and the high will be in the mid 50s.

A late-season winter storm is winding down across the Middle Atlantic states after dropping 6 to 12 inches of powder on Washington DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis. Just two days ago, these areas were basking under sunshine and 70 degrees with the promise of spring in the air, but a surge of arctic air set the stage for the development of low pressure to the south and the result was a blanket of snow across Maryland, northern Virginia, southern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The storm brought the seasonal total at Baltimore (BWI) to nearly 40 inches.

Snow flurries began falling on Sunday afternoon with the air temperature near 40 and a dew point temperature in the 20s. However, within a few hours the mercury had dropped into the mid 30s and light snow was picking up across the region. Snow began to accumulate on unpaved surfaces from 8 p.m. to midnight with a couple of inches at most locations. However, as the precipitation intensified and as the temperature dropped into the 20s, snow began covering walkways and roads. Additionally, snowfall rates increased to 1" per hour at times. The heaviest snow fell from midnight through 6 a.m. followed by a few hours of light snow or flurries. Although final totals are still coming in to various NWS outlets, it appears that a general 6 to 12-inch swath of snow fell over the Middle Atlantic states with the heaviest falling over Washington DC and Annapolis MD. Unlike many late-season snowfalls that are heavy and wet, this storm produced a more powdery snow that swirled off rooftops in the gusty wind and sub-freezing temperatures.

The forecast for the rest of the day calls for a mostly cloudy sky with cold temperatures as highs struggle to reach the freezing point. A gusty wind from the northeast will make it feel even colder. The high March sun angle will help to melt snow on the main roads, the fresh covering of late-winter snow will hold on for another day as Tuesday is expected to be another cold day along with a few snow showers. Looking ahead, a milder and more seasonable pattern is on the way with temperatures rebounding into the 40s and 50s this week. However, the long-range outlook features another surge of arctic air that may impact the Mid-Atlantic and New England states next week.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect through late Tuesday night. Winds today will come out of the northeast at 10 to 20 knots with gusts over 25 knots and waves up to 3 feet. Visibility may be reduced in snow shower and fog. Winds tonight will come out of the northeast at 10 to 15 knots with gusts to 20 knots and waves up to 3 feet. Winds on Tuesday will come out of the northeast at 10 to 15 knots with gusts to 20 knots and waves up to 3 feet. Winds on Wednesday will come out of the southeast at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Visibility may be reduced in rain showers and fog on Wednesday. Marine information is provided only as a guide. Boaters should always stay tuned to the latest forecasts and advisories from the National Weather Service.

Click here for the average March lows and highs for Baltimore. Click here for the average March lows and highs for Washington DC. Click here for the sunrise and sunset times. For more weather updates, please visit my web site www.chesapeakebayweather.com, my Chesapeake Bay Weather page on Facebook, and if you're heading to Ocean City feel free to check out my Ocean City MD Weather page on Facebook. You can also follow me on Twitter @chesbayweather.