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Chesapeake Bay weather for February 11: sunny and cold, Winter Storm Watch

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

*The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch*

Today: Sunny and cold with a high in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Tonight: Clear and cold with calm winds. The low will be in the upper 10s.

Wednesday: Morning sunshine followed by increasing clouds. Cold with a high in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Thursday: Windy and cold with snow, mixed with sleet at times. Accumulating snow is expected. The high will be in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

The extended forecast calls for sunshine on Friday with a low in the mid 20s and a high in the mid 30s. Morning snow showers on Saturday, then sunny with a low in the mid 20s and a high in the upper 30s. Morning snow showers on Sunday, then sunny with a low in the lower 20s and a high in the upper 30s. Sunny on Monday with a low in the mid 20s and a high n the upper 30s.

Temperatures this morning range from the mid and upper 10s around Baltimore, with some upper 10s to lower 20s closer to the Annapolis region. High pressure will ensure another bright, sunny day on the Chesapeake; however, temperatures will be cold with highs only in the upper 20s to around freezing. Fortunately, winds will be rather light which will negate the concern over the wind chill factor. Overnight, with high pressure overhead and calm winds, the mercury will drop into the mid 10s. Another cold day is expected on Wednesday with morning sunshine giving way to a cloudy afternoon. The cold air in place over the Middle Atlantic states will be one critical component in the upcoming winter storm. Low pressure will develop near the Gulf of Mexico and then move northeast along the eastern seaboard Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon. Currently, there are two scenarios. One has the northern and southern branches of the jet stream phasing just as the low passes by to our southeast. This would provide significant amounts of precipitation across the region. Another scenario would phase the two branches of the jet stream later, which would result in lighter precipitation. Making matters more complicated is the uncertainty over the snow/mix/rain line that will set up to the south and east of Annapolis, but may come close enough to change snow to sleet at times during the event. This would reduced the overall snowfall accumulation, but a significant snowfall is possible even with a period of sleet. The snow is expected to fall over central Maryland from Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon, with the heaviest falling on Thursday morning. The National Weather Service writes in its morning weather discussion that this will be a "significant to perhaps even a crippling winter storm." Once the storm pulls away from the region on Thursday night, cloudiness will give way to a mostly clear sky. Thursday and Friday will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid to upper 30s each day and overnight lows in the 20s. An upper-air disturbance may produce light snow showers across the region on Friday night and again on Saturday night. Otherwise, the weekend will feature clouds and sun with highs in the 30s.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, no advisories are currently in effect. Winds today will come out of the north at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds tonight will come out of the northeast at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds on Wednesday will come out of the east at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds on Wednesday night will come out of the northeast at 10 knots, increasing to 20 knots with gusts over 25 knots and waves increasing to 2 to 3 feet late. Visibility may be reduced in snow and fog. Winds on Thursday will come out of the north at 10 to 20 knots with gusts over 30 knots and waves from 2 to 4 feet. Visibility may be reduced in snow, sleet, rain, and fog. 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 11 is 44 degrees and the average low is 26 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 72 degrees in 1887 and -6 degrees in 1899. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:03 and the sunset will occur at 5:39. 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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