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Chesapeake Bay weather for January 21: Windy and cold with heavy snow

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

Today: Cloudy with snow developing. Becoming windy and cold with temperatures falling from the mid 30s to the lower 20s by evening. Snow may accumulate 3 to 6 inches by evening. North winds gusting from 20 to 30 m.p.h. during the afternoon.

Tonight: Snow ending by midnight. Windy and very cold with areas of blowing snow. Low 5 to 10. Total snowfall accumulation of 4 to 8 inches with local amounts up to 12 inches.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, but very cold with a high from 13 to 18.

Wednesday Night: Clear and cold with a low from 0 to 5.

Thursday: Mostly sunny with a high in the upper 10s to lower 20s.

The extended outlook calls for mostly sunny conditions on Friday with a low around 10 and a high near 25. Clouds and sun on Saturday with a low around 10 and a high near 32. Clouds and sun on Sunday with a few snow showers. The low will be around 15 and the high will be near 32. Clouds and sun on Monday with a low around 18 and a high near 32.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the entire Chesapeake Bay region from Elkton in the north to Annapolis and St. Mary's City and down to the mouth of the bay at Norfolk. The warning extends eastward to the Atlantic seaboard. A "clipper" system that typically produces light snow showers when moving through the area will generate an area of low pressure that will rapidly develop and deepen into a stronger storm near the Delmarva coast this evening. The low will track to the south of the Annapolis area, placing all of Maryland on the cold side of the storm and ensuring snow from beginning to end. Very cold and dry air being pulled into the system will create high snow ratios. In other words, the rule of 10 inches of snow for each inch of liquid can be as high as 15 to 20 inches of snow per inch of liquid. With computer forecast models projecting .50 to .75" of precipitation, a general 4 to 8 inches of snow can be expected; however, locally higher amounts could approach 12 inches. In addition to the falling snow, winds will begin to pick up from the north and may gust over 30 m.p.h. at times this afternoon and evening. Temperatures will also drop quickly from the lower 30s at 7 a.m. to the lower 20s by evening and then into the teens and single digits overnight. Wind chill values will be as low as -10 degrees overnight and into Wednesday with temperatures in the single digits and winds continuing to gust over 30 m.p.h. As the storm pulls away from the region on Wednesday, arctic air will be enhanced by a fresh snow cover to produce very cold temperatures in the Middle Atlantic region. Highs on Wednesday may only reach the mid 10s and highs on Thursday and Friday are expected to be in the lower to middle 20s. Overnight lows will dip into the single digits to lower teens. The upcoming weekend will feature clouds and sun, but temperatures will be cold with lows in the teens and highs around 30.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. this evening. A Gale Warning is in effect from 6 p.m. this evening through late tonight. Winds today will come out of the north at 10 to 20 knots with gusts over 30 knots and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Visibility may be reduced in snow and fog. Winds tonight will come out of the northwest at 10 to 20 knots with gusts over 30 knots and waves from 1 to 3 feet. Visibility may be reduced in snow and fog. Winds on Wednesday will come out of the northwest at 10 to 20 knots with gusts over 30 knots and waves from 1 to 3 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 21 is 41 degrees and the average low is 24 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 66 degrees in 1921 and -6 degrees in 1985. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:22 and the sunset will occur at 5:14. 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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