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Chesapeake Bay weather for February 10: sunny and cold, watching mid-week storm

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

This afternoon: Mostly sunny but cold with a high between 30 and 35.

Tonight: Mostly clear and cold with a low from the upper 10s to lower 20s.

Tuesday: Sunny but cold with a high from 30 to 35.

Tuesday Night: Mostly clear with a low from 20 to 25.

The extended forecast calls for increasing clouds on Wednesday with evening snow. The low will be in the mid 20s and the high will be in the mid 30s. A chance of snow mixed with sleet or rain at times on Thursday with a low around 30 and a high in the mid 30s. Mostly sunny and breezy on Friday with a low in the mid 20s and a high in the mid 30s.

Noon temperatures are mainly in the upper 20s in the Annapolis area. Cold high pressure is building over the Chesapeake Bay area today. This is resulting in sunny, but cold conditions with highs about 10 degrees colder than seasonal averages. The average high this time of year is in the mid 40s, but highs today and Tuesday will struggle to break above the freezing point. Overnight lows will dip into the upper 10s to mid 20s. As we move closer to the middle of the week, computer forecast models are coming into closer agreement on a significant winter storm that now looks more likely to impact the area on Wednesday night and Thursday. High pressure to our north will provide the cold air for the system. Meanwhile, low pressure will develop near the Gulf of Mexico and then move up the eastern seaboard. The low will intensify as it moves up the coast, and will throw ample moisture into the cold air at the surface. As is typical with coastal snowstorms in the Middle Atlantic states, the snow/mix/rain line will determine which locations receive the most snow. A fifty-mile shift in the track will impact millions of residents. Areas in the mixing zone may still receive a minimum accumulation of 3 to 6 inches, with locations in the snow zone receiving a minimum of 6 to 12 inches. Locations closer to the coast such as Salisbury MD and Ocean City MD may begin with a couple of inches of snow before changing to rain; however, a change back to snow is certainly possible near the end of the storm as cold air wraps around the center of low pressure. The snow will be accompanied by gusty winds and sub-freezing temperatures, particularly on the western shore of the bay. At the moment, the snow is expected to begin on Wednesday evening and continue through the early afternoon hours on Thursday. As the storm moves away from the region on Thursday, cold high pressure will return with sunshine on Thursday and Friday. Temperatures will remain below average during the period.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect through Monday afternoon. Winds on Monday will come out of the northwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 knots and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Winds on Monday night will come out of the northwest at 10 to 15 knots with waves from 1 to 2 feet. Winds on Tuesday will come out of the north at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds on Tuesday night will come out of the north at 10 knots with waves less than one foot. Winds on Wednesday will come out of the northeast at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Boaters should prepare for icy conditions on the bay. 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 February 10 is 44 degrees and the average low is 26 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 66 degrees in 1960 and -7 degrees in 1899 (also the extreme record low for the month.) Today's sunrise will occur at 7:04 and the sunset will occur at 5:38. 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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