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Chesapeake Bay weather for January 2: afternoon showers followed by evening snow

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

Today: Becoming cloudy with afternoon rain showers. High around 40.

Tonight: Rain changing to snow. Becoming windy and cold. Temperatures falling into the upper 10s by morning.

Friday: Morning flurries, then sunshine. Windy and cold. Temperatures falling into the mid teens during the day. Wind chill values as low as -15 degrees.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, windy, and cold with a low from 5 to 10. Wind chill values around -10 early.

Saturday: Very cold early, then sunshine and milder. High around 35.

The extended outlook calls for increasing clouds on Sunday and a chance of rain mixed with snow. The low will be in the upper 20s and the high will be in the upper 30s. Rain showers on Monday. The low will be in the mid 30s and the high will be in the upper 40s. Sunny, windy, and very cold on Tuesday. The low will be around 15 and the high will be around 20. Sunny, but cold, on Wednesday. The low will be around 5 and the high will be in the mid to upper 20s.

A weak area of low pressure will cross the Appalachian Mountains just to our southwest this afternoon and evening. This feature will produce light rain and or rain/snow showers east of the mountains as we move into the afternoon & evening hours today. With high temperatures around 40, precipitation will likely begin as rain in the Annapolis area. The low will eventually merge with a secondary low off the Delmarva coastline, and will strengthen to produce heavy snow in the New York City area. However, this type of set-up rarely yields more than an inch or two of snow south of the Mason-Dixon line, and this is what we can expect tonight. In fact, as the primary low transfers energy to the secondary low, a "dry slot" often forms that leaves part of our region with little more than snow showers or flurries. Since the first low will be too close to our region, the main shield of moisture will develop farther to the north. The only caveats in this forecast include the very cold, dry air that will be pulled into the system, as this will create higher liquid/snow ratios. Additionally, the merging of the two systems could occur a bit sooner, and produce a broader and more enhanced shield of precipitation over central Maryland. These two scenarios could boost snow totals into the 2 to 4 inch range; otherwise, an inch or two can be expected. As the coastal low pulls away from the Delmarva coast overnight, very cold air will surge into the Chesapeake region so that temperatures will actually fall into the upper 10s by Friday afternoon along with gusty winds. By Saturday morning, thermometer readings will range from zero along the Pennsylvania-Maryland border to around 10 degrees in Annapolis. This cold shot will be short-lived as temperatures are expected to recover into the lower 30s by Saturday afternoon, the mid 40s by Sunday afternoon, and near 50 by Monday. Another system may produce some rain showers on Monday, to be followed by another brief cold blast. Temperatures by next Wednesday may only reach the upper 10s during the day with overnight lows in the single digits.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect beginning at 6 p.m. this evening. A Gale Warning is in effect from late tonight through Friday afternoon. Winds today will come out of the northeast at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds tonight will come out of the northeast at 10 knots with gusts over 20 knots, then shift to the north at 15 to 25 knots with gusts over 35 knots and waves from 2 to 4 feet. Winds on Friday will come out of the northwest at 15 to 25 knots with gusts over 35 knots and waves from 3 to 5 feet. Winds on Friday night will come out of the north at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 knots and waves from 1 to 2 feet. 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 January 2 is 42 degrees and the average low is 25 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 71 degrees in 1876 and 13 degrees in 1918. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:26 and the sunset will occur at 4:55. 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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