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Chesapeake Bay weather for January 27: Arctic surge returns after brief warm-up

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

Tonight: Windy and much colder with a low from 10 to 15. Northwest wind 10 to 20 m.p.h. with gusts over 30 at times. Wind chill value as much as -10.

Tuesday: Increasing cloudiness and cold with a high around 20. West wind 10 to 20 m.p.h. at times.

Tuesday Night: A few snow showers may produce a dusting of snow. The low will be near 15.

Wednesday: Sunny and breezy. Not as cold with a high near 30.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear with a low in the upper 10s.

Thursday: Mostly sunny with highs from 35 to 40.

The extended outlook calls for unsettled weather over the weekend with a chance of mixed precipitation on Saturday, and a chance of rain showers on Sunday. Lows will be in the low to mid 30s and highs will be in the mid 40s.

An Arctic cold front is surging across Chesapeake Bay this evening. Earlier today, a southwest flow ahead of the front enabled temperatures to soar into the upper 40s to lower 50s in the Annapolis area, with upper 50s to lower 60s in southeast Virginia. Once the front moved to our east this afternoon, winds quickly shifted to the northwest and temperatures began to steadily fall through the 40s and 30s. At 8 p.m. this evening, the mercury is showing temperatures in the mid to upper 20s with winds gusting from the northwest over 25 m.p.h. at times. As we move into the early morning hours on Tuesday, readings will plummet into the low to mid 10s. Wind chill values will fall below zero at times through the morning hours. Meanwhile, low pressure will develop and move along the Arctic front on Tuesday into Wednesday. This low will bring an historic snow and ice storm to the southeast states including the panhandle of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. In Virginia, the Tidewater region is under a Winter Storm Warning for 5 to 10 inches of snow. The question at the moment is how far will this precipitation field spread and will it impact residents in Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis? At this time it appears that most of the snow will miss central Maryland; however, southern Maryland and the lower Eastern Shore may receive 1 to 3 inches of snowfall by Wednesday morning. Although the fresh, cold air will make it difficult for precipitation to fall any farther north and west, a slight shift in in the track of the storm could bring a bit more snow to central Maryland. For now, the headline in the Annapolis area will be the cold air that will result in high temperatures on Tuesday only in the teens to near 20 degrees. Fortunately, this cold snap will be short-lived. After a cold Wednesday morning with lows in the 10s, readings will moderate into the 30s on Wednesday through Friday, and into the middle 40s by the weekend.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect through Tuesday afternoon. A Small Craft Advisory is in effect beginning late Tuesday night. Winds tonight will come out of the northwest at 15 to 20 knots with gusts over 30 knots and waves from 2 to 4 feet. Winds on Tuesday will come out of the north at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 25 knots and waves from 2 to 4 feet. Winds on Wednesday will come out of the northwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 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 27 is 42 degrees and the average low is 25 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 72 degrees in 1921 and 1974 and 3 degrees in 1987. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:18 and the sunset will occur at 5:21. 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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