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Chesapeake Bay weather for February 5: freezing rain early, then mostly cloudy

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

This afternoon: Mostly cloudy with scattered rain showers. The high temperature will range from the upper 30s to lower 40s.

Tonight: Gradual clearing overnight and turning cooler with a low around 30.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, breezy, and chilly with a high in the upper 30s.

Thursday Night: Clear and cold with a low around 25.

Friday: Mostly sunny and chilly with a high in the mid to upper 30s.

The extended outlook calls for a chance of rain or snow showers on Saturday and Sunday with lows around 30 and highs near 40. Mostly sunny and cold on Monday with a low around 25 and a high near 35. Mostly sunny on Tuesday with a low around 20 and a high near 35.

Freezing rain produced a glaze of ice on trees, lawns, and walkways overnight in the Annapolis area. To the north and west of Baltimore and Washington, ice accretion was more significant and resulted in downed power lines and trees. To the south and east of Annapolis, precipitation fell in the form of rain overnight as temperatures were above freezing. A southerly flow around the center of low pressure will allow for a moderation in the mercury today, so that temperatures this afternoon will reach the upper 30s to lower 40s at most locations. Winds will shift to the northwest overnight as colder and drier air rushes into the region. By Thursday morning, lows will be in the 20s. High pressure builds over the Middle Atlantic states on Thursday and Friday with sunshine and chilly temperatures. Lows each day will be in the 20s with highs in the 30s. By the weekend, a complex weather pattern is developing in regard to the potential for wintery precipitation. A few days ago, computer forecast models were hinting at a possible major east coast snowstorm, but now these same models are showing much weaker systems. One may brush the Annapolis area with rain or snow showers on Saturday, and another may produce a few snow showers on Sunday. A slight change in the development of these systems could result in a major change to the forecast for later this weekend. Regardless of what happens this weekend, much colder air will overspread the Middle Atlantic and northeast states early next week with lows dipping into the 10s and daytime highs around freezing.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect from 6 p.m. this evening through late tonight. Winds this afternoon will come out of the southeast at 10 knots, and then shift to the southwest this afternoon. Waves will be less than one foot. Visibility may be reduced in rain and fog. Winds tonight will come out of the northwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 25 knots and waves from 1 to 2 feet in ice-free waters. Winds on Thursday will come out of the northwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 25 and waves from 1 to 2 feet in ice-free waters. 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 5 is 43 degrees and the average low is 25 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 73 degrees in 1991 and -1 degrees in 1996 and 1952. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:09 and the sunset will occur at 5:32. 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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