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Chesapeake Bay weather for January 31: A mild end to a cold month

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

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This afternoon: Mostly sunny but not as cold with a high in the mid to upper 30s near the bay shore, and the lower 40s inland.

Tonight: Mostly clear, but areas of fog developing late. Low in the lower 30s.

Saturday: Areas of morning fog, then becoming mostly sunny and mild with a high in the lower to mid 40s near the bay shore and the mid 40s to near 50 inland.

Saturday Night: Variable cloudiness and mild with a low in the mid to upper 30s. Areas of fog developing overnight.

Sunday: Clouds and sun. Mild with a high from 50 to 55, except cooler near the bay shore.

The extended outlook calls for a chance of mixed rain and snow on Monday with a low around 35 and a high near 40. Mostly cloudy on Tuesday with a low around 30 and a high near 40. A chance of rain on Wednesday. The low will be in the mid 30s and the high will be in the mid to upper 40s.

High pressure that provided another round of unseasonably cold weather for the Middle Atlantic states this week has moved to our east; consequently, a southerly flow of air has developed and enabled the mercury to recover. Morning temperatures were only in the lower to middle 20s, warmer than some of our recent daytime highs. At noon, readings have climbed into the 30s near the colder waters of the Chesapeake, and the lower 40s just a few miles inland. For example, at noon Annapolis is reporting 31 degrees while Baltimore-Washington International Airport is reporting 41 degrees. The "bay effect" will have an impact on local weather over the weekend with residents along the shoreline experiencing temperatures as much as 5 to 10 degrees cooler than official reporting stations located inland. The upcoming weekend will feature ample sunshine and mild temperatures, except for areas of morning fog that may develop due to the melting snow, damp ground, and ice-covered waters. Meanwhile, a cold front will dive into the area Sunday night into Monday. Some computer forecast models are indicating that an area of low pressure will develop along the front and produce rain and/or snow across the area from Baltimore into Tidewater Virginia by Monday morning. The actual location of the rain/snow line is challenging to forecast at the moment, but areas to the north and west of Annapolis will have a better opportunity for a mixture of precipitation or plain snow than areas to the south and east of town. Temperatures will be marginally cold for snow, so whatever falls will be much wetter and heavier than recent powdery snowfalls; however, roads will be easier to maintain during the event. Areas in Maryland where mostly snow falls could receive several inches of accumulation. Another storm system may impact the region by the middle of next week, but right now all indications are that this system will move to our west and produce rain in the Annapolis area. A more significant system may develop the following weekend, although recent computer forecast models are indicating another rainstorm for the area.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, there are no advisories currently in effect. Winds tonight will come out of the east at 10 knots with waves less than one foot. Winds on Saturday will come out of the southeast at 10 knots with waves less than one foot. Winds on Saturday night will come out of the south at 10 knots with waves from 1 to 2 feet. Winds on Sunday will come out of the west at 10 knots with waves around one foot. Winds on Sunday night will come out of the northwest at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 knots and waves from 1 to 2 feet. Visibility may be reduced in rain, snow, and fog on Monday night into Tuesday. 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 January 31 is 42 degrees and the average low is 25 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 69 degrees in 1947 and 4 degrees in 1966. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:14 and the sunset will occur at 5:26. 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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