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Chesapeake Bay weather for January 4: cold early, then sunny and milder

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

Today: Mostly sunny and milder with a high in the low to mid 30s.

Tonight: Increasing clouds and not as cold with a low in the upper 20s.

Sunday: Cloudy with light freezing rain changing to rain. Temperatures rising into the upper 30s.

Sunday Night: Occasional rain showers and fog. Temperature steady around 40.

Monday: Rain and snow showers. Becoming windy and turning colder. Temperatures falling into 30s.

The extended outlook calls for sunny and windy conditions on Tuesday with a low around 10 and a high around 20. Mostly sunny on Wednesday with a low around 10 and a high in the upper 20s. Clouds and sun on Thursday with a low around 20 and a high near 40. A chance of mixed rain and snow on Friday with a low near 30 and a high around 40. Rain showers on Saturday with a low in the upper 30s and a high in the upper 40s.

Temperatures this morning are quite cold with readings in the single digits a few miles inland from the bay, with low teens right along the bay shore north of Annapolis. Cold high pressure will move offshore today, and a return flow will enable temperatures to recover quickly into the 20s and lower 30s by afternoon. Winds will be light and there will be plenty of sunshine. Meanwhile, a developing storm system will move northeast along the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains on Sunday into Sunday night. This counterclockwise flow around the storm will bring a southerly wind to the bay region. Initially, precipitation may fall in the form of light freezing mist or rain as precipitation overrides cold air at the surface; however, the cold layer will begin to erode and the precipitation will change to rain Sunday afternoon. As the storm moves into Ontario, a strong arctic front will traverse the mountains and push all the way to the Atlantic coast by Tuesday. Some light precipitation associated with the cold front may produce some rain or snow showers in the Annapolis area on Monday. In the wake of the cold front, some of the coldest temperatures in years will be felt in the Middle Atlantic states. Temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings may reach zero inland and the single digits along the bay shore. Highs on Tuesday may stay in the teens with a wind chill below zero. Fortunately, the cold snap will be short-lived as the mercury recovers quickly into the 30s on Thursday and 40s by Friday. A storm system may bring mixed precipitation to the area late next week.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, no advisories are currently in effect. Winds today will come out of the south at 10 to 15 knots with waves from 1 to 2 feet. Winds tonight will come out of the south at 10 knots with waves from 1 to 2 feet. Visibility may be reduced in freezing mist and fog. Winds on Sunday will come out of the northeast at 10 to 15 knots with waves from 1 to 2 feet. Visibility may be reduced in freezing mist, rain, and fog. Winds on Sunday night will come out of the south at 10 to 15 knots with gusts over 20 knots and waves from 1 to 2 feet. Visibility may be reduced in rain and fog. 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 4 is 42 degrees and the average low is 25 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 70 degrees in 2000 and 4 degrees in 1918. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:26 and the sunset will occur at 4:57. 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.