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Chesapeake Bay weather for February 18: mild weather pattern continues

National Weather Service forecast map
National Weather Service forecast map
Map courtesy National Weather Service

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

Overnight: Mostly clear early, then increasing clouds with a chance of a rain shower late. Low in the lower 30s.

Wednesday: Morning rain showers, then clouds and sun during the afternoon. High in the lower 50s.

Wednesday Night: Variable cloudiness with a low in the lower 30s.

Thursday: Clouds and sun with a high in the upper 40s.

Thursday Night: Variable cloudiness with showers late. Mild with a low around 40.

Friday: Rain showers and possible thunder. The high will be in the low to mid 60s.

The extended forecast calls for clouds and sun on Saturday and Sunday with lows in the upper 30s and highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Clouds and sun on Monday with a low in the mid 30s and a high in the mid 40s. Mostly sunny on Tuesday with a low in the upper 20s and a high in the upper 30s.

Today's weather featured sunshine and mild temperatures. Afternoon readings climbed into the upper 40s near the bay to the mid 50s inland. Although there was significant snow melt today, most areas still have snow covering the ground. This will diminish considerably over the next few days as temperatures continue to warm into the 50s and even 60s by Friday. On Wednesday, high pressure will be nudged to our east as a cold front approaches from the west. This will create a mild, southerly flow across the region and light rain showers can be expected as the front moves across the bay during the morning hours. Some areas to the north and west of Baltimore and Washington may experience a brief period of freezing rain, but temperatures will be warm enough for just plain rain south and east of the major cities. By Wednesday afternoon, a mostly sunny sky is expected with highs near 50 or a bit higher inland. A warm front will enable Thursday's highs to climb into the 50s and by Friday afternoon the mercury will peak in the low to mid 60s. Friday's mild readings will be accompanied by widespread rain showers as a front pushes across the bay. The upcoming weekend looks to be mostly sunny, dry, and seasonable with daytime highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Looking ahead to next week, significantly colder weather is expected to surge into the northeast states by the middle of next week with near-record cold possible. In addition, computer forecast models are hinting at a possible winter storm along the East Coast next week.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect from 6 a.m. Wednesday through Wednesday afternoon. Winds on Wednesday will come out of the southwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 knots and waves up to 2 feet. Visibility may be reduced in rain showers and fog. Winds on Wednesday night will come out of the northwest at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds on Thursday will come out of the southeast around 10 knots with waves less than one foot. Winds on Thursday night will come out of the south at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 25 knots and waves up to 3 feet. Visibility may be reduced in rain showers and fog. Winds on Friday will come out of the southwest at 10 to 20 knots with gusts over 25 knots and waves from 2 to 4 feet. Visibility may be reduced in rain and fog. 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 18 is 46 degrees and the average low is 27 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 72 degrees in 1997 and 19 degrees in 1903. Today's sunrise will occur at 6:54 and the sunset will occur at 5:47. 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.