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Chesapeake Bay weather for December 21: record warmth as winter arrives

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

Today: Variable cloudiness and sunshine. The high will be in the mid to upper 60s.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy and warm with a low in the mid to upper 50s.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy and warm with afternoon showers & thundershowers. High 70 to 75.

Monday: Mostly cloudy with a few showers early. Cooler with a high in the mid 50s.

Tuesday: Clouds and sun. Cooler with a high in the mid 40s.

The extended outlook calls for a mostly sunny sky on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with lows in the upper 20s and highs in the mid 40s.

Temperatures this morning are in the 50s around the Chesapeake Bay, readings that are more reflective of a summer morning. The average low this time of year should be in the mid to upper 20s. With high pressure to our southeast and a cold front approaching from the west, warm air will continue to surge north along the eastern seaboard today and Sunday. The record high temperature at Baltimore for December 21 is 62 degrees, set in 2011. This record looks to be smashed today as readings are already in the 50s. As the front moves closer to the region on Sunday, low pressure moving along the front will produce widespread showers and thunderstorms that will continue into Sunday evening. A few thundershowers could produce heavy downpours and gusty winds, although severe weather is not expected at this time. The warmest temperatures will occur on Sunday just ahead of the front with afternoon readings in the 70s! As the front moves to our east on Monday, the wind will shift to the northwest and colder air will overspread the region; temperatures next week will only be seasonable, not severely cold, so that lows will drop into the 20s and highs will be in the low 40s. The long-range outlook does indicate that much colder air will invade the eastern United States during the first week of January as a polar vortex moves south from Canada and plunges the Middle-Atlantic and New England states in a deep freeze.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect through Sunday afternoon. Winds today will come out of the south at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Winds tonight will come out of the south at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Winds on Sunday will come out of the south at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Winds on Sunday night will come out of the southwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Visibility may be reduced in rain showers and fog on Sunday and Sunday evening. Marine information is provided as general guidance. Boaters should always stay tuned to the latest forecasts and advisories from the National Weather Service.

The average high temperature for December 21 is 44 degrees and the average low is 27 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 62 degrees in 2011 and 5 degrees in 1942. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:23 and the sunset will occur at 4:47, the shortest day of the year. 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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