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Chesapeake Bay weather for December 11: sunny and cold

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

  • Today: Sunny with a high in the middle 30s. Light southwest wind around 5 to 10.
  • Tonight: Clearing and cold with in the lower 20s. West wind 10 to 15.
  • Thursday: Sunny, windy and cold with a high in the upper 20s. Northwest wind 10 to 20.
  • Thursday Night: Clear and cold with a low in the lower 20s. West wind around 10.
  • Friday: Mostly sunny and cold with a high in the mid to upper 30s.
  • Friday Night: Increasing clouds with a chance of snow and sleet late. Low in the upper 20s.
  • Saturday: Cloudy with snow and sleet changing to rain. Temperature rising into the 30s.
  • The extended forecast calls for sunshine on Sunday through Tuesday. Highs will be in the upper 30s on Sunday, lower 30s on Monday, and lower 30s on Tuesday. Lows will be in the upper 10s to mid 20s.

A chilly morning on Chesapeake Bay with most locations around the bay reporting temperatures in the mid to upper 20s at sunrise, with some locations to the west in the upper 10s to mid 20s. Areas along the western shore near Annapolis only received one inch or less of snowfall yesterday, while areas to the north and west of Baltimore recorded 3 to 6 inches of snow. The main factors that prevented Annapolis from receiving a more substantial snowfall include the following: 1) the bay waters are typically rather mild in December and this kept temperatures along the bay shore from falling below freezing during the event, 2) there was a lack of fresh cold air in place which is often necessary to overcome the influence of the bay and ocean, 3) clouds and fog the night before kept temperatures above freezing, 4) the system was fast-moving and was not all that strong, which is typical of frontal systems that rarely produce more than an inch of snow in our area. Now that yesterday's snow event has ended, we turn our attention to the cold weather coming this week and next week. From today through Friday we can expect daytime highs struggling to break above the freezing point with overnight lows in the lower 20s. The coldest day will be on Thursday with gusty winds and highs only in the upper 20s. This weekend, another winter storm may impact the northeast United States. One low will move northeast from the Tennessee Valley and a secondary low may form off the Delmarva coast. With fresh cold air in place over the region, precipitation on Saturday may begin as snow and/or sleet, but will transition to rain as warmer air moves in from the south. Secondary lows are not big snow producers in the Mid-Atlantic and high pressure over New England (a key ingredient to snowstorms in the Chesapeake area) will be moving away rather than holding firm. This scenario supports a mix to rain event for Annapolis. As we move into next week, another surge of arctic air will overspread the area on Monday through Wednesday.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect from late tonight through Thursday afternoon. Winds today will come out of the southwest at 10 knots or less with waves around one foot. Winds tonight will come out of the west at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 and waves from 1 to 2 feet. Winds on Thursday will come out of the northwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Marine information is provided only as guidance. Boaters should always stay tuned to the latest forecasts and advisories from the National Weather Service.

The average high temperature for December 11 is 46 degrees and the average low is 29 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 69 degrees in 1979 and 9 degrees in 1968. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:16 and the sunset will occur at 4:43. Weather data courtesy of the National Weather Service. For more weather updates, please visit 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.

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