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Chesapeake Bay weather for December 31: sunny, breezy, and seasonably cool

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

This afternoon: Mostly sunny with breezy conditions and a high in the mid 40s.

Tonight: Mostly clear and seasonably chilly with a low in the upper 20s.

New Years' Day: Mostly sunny with a high in the lower 40s.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear with a low in the upper 20s.

Thursday: Cloudy with mixed rain and snow toward evening. High in the upper 30s.

The extended outlook calls for morning snow showers on Friday, then sunshine with a low in the mid 20s and a high in the upper 20s. Clouds and sun on Saturday with a low around 20 and a high in the mid 30s. Mostly cloudy on Sunday with a chance of rain showers. The low will be in the upper 20s and the high will be in the mid 40s.

High pressure will build over the Chesapeake region today and provide a sunny, breezy, and seasonably cool day for the area with high temperatures in the 40s. Winds will diminish this evening as temperatures fall back into the upper 20s to lower 30s overnight. High pressure moves offshore on Wednesday, but sunshine will be the main weather feature along with high temperatures once again in the 40s. Meanwhile, low pressure is expected to develop just to our southwest on Thursday and then re-develop off the Atlantic coast on Friday. Computer models have offered a wide range of solutions for the Annapolis area, from no snow to a moderate snowstorm. However, systems that transfer energy from one low to a coastal low rarely produce more than an inch or two of snow in our region and this looks to be the best forecast at the moment. Precipitation will have a good chance of starting as rain on Thursday afternoon, particularly south and east of Annapolis where temperatures will be in the lower 40s. Gradually, colder air will work its way into the system and rain will change to snow on Thursday night from Annapolis to the north and west. Again, an inch or two of snow can be expected from this system. A brief rush of cold air will send the mercury tumbling through the 20s during the day on Friday as morning snow showers give way to a mostly sunny and windy afternoon. By Saturday morning, lows will dip into the upper 10s to lower 20s and only recover to around freezing by Saturday afternoon under a mostly sunny sky. Another storm system may impact the Mid-Atlantic region on Sunday night into Monday, but at this time temperatures appear to be warm enough for a mixture of rain and snow. Looking ahead to next week, a fresh blast of polar air will overspread the region by the middle of the week with daytime highs struggling to reach the freezing point and overnight lows in the teens.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect through this evening. Winds this afternoon will come out of the southwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 knots and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Winds will shift to the west this afternoon. Winds tonight will come out of the northwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 25 knots, then shift to the southwest. Waves will range from 1 to 3 feet. Winds on Wednesday will come out of the southeast at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds on Wednesday night will come out of the south at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds on Thursday will come out of the east at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Visibility may be reduced in rain, snow, and fog on Thursday. 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 31 is 42 degrees and the average low is 25 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 72 degrees in 1992 and -1 degrees in 1880. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:26 and the sunset will occur at 4:53. 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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