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Chesapeake Bay weather for January 6: morning rain then windy and sharply colder

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

National Weather Service forecast map
Map courtesy National Weather Service

Today: Morning showers & fog, then gradual clearing. Becoming windy and turning colder. A chance of rain and/or snow showers through early afternoon. Temperatures falling from the 40s/50s into the 30s during the afternoon and upper 20s by evening. NW wind 10-20 m.p.h. with gusts over 30 at times.

Tonight: Clear, windy, and cold with a low from 0 to 10. NW wind 10 to 20 with gusts over 30. Wind chill values from 0 to -15 at times.

Tuesday: Sunny but cold with a high around 15. West wind 10 to 20 at times. Wind chill near zero at times.

Tuesday Night: Clear and cold with a low around 5. Winds diminishing to less than 10 m.p.h.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny but not as cold with a high in the upper 20s.

The extended outlook calls for clouds and sun on Thursday with a low in the lower 20s and a high in the mid 30s. A chance of rain or snow showers Thursday night with a low in the lower 30s. A chance of rain showers on Friday with a high in the mid 40s. Clouds and sun on Saturday with a low in the mid 30s and a high around 50. Clouds and sun on Sunday with a low in the mid 30s and a high around 50.

Warm air continues to surge northward along the eastern seaboard this morning in advance of an approaching arctic cold front that will send temperatures plummeting this afternoon and evening to near-record cold by Tuesday morning. Rainfall associated with the frontal passage has overspread the Mid-Atlantic region, but most of the precipitation will come to an end by late morning. Temperatures at 8 a.m. range from the upper 40s around Baltimore and Annapolis to the 50s in Salisbury and Richmond to the lower 60s around Norfolk. During the afternoon, most locations around Annapolis will be in the 30s with winds gusting over 30 miles per hour at times, and by evening the mercury will be in the upper 20s. Overnight, the coldest air in many years will pummel the eastern states with near-record cold. The record low at Baltimore for January 7 is 8 degrees. Even without fresh snow on the ground, this record is certainly in jeopardy as morning lows on Tuesday will be as low as zero with wind chill values as low as -15. During the day on Tuesday there will be ample sunshine, but temperatures will remain in the single digits through the morning and only rise into the lower and middle 10s during the afternoon. Gusty winds will produce wind chill values near zero at times. The only positive aspect of this cold air mass is that it will be short-lived. Readings will fall back into the single digits by Wednesday morning, but the thermometer will rebound into the upper 20s to lower 30s during the day. With the polar vortex moving away from the region on Thursday and Friday, temperatures will moderate into the 30s and 40s; however, precipitation overriding the cold air in place may produce some mixed precipitation Thursday night into Friday.

On the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay, a Small Craft Advisory is in effect until 1 p.m. this afternoon, and a Gale Warning is in effect from 1 p.m. this afternoon through late tonight. Winds today will come out of the west at 10 to 20 knots with gusts over 30 knots, then shift to the northwest at 20 to 30 knots with gusts over 40 knots this afternoon. Waves will increase to 3 to 5 feet. Visibility may be reduced in rain and fog early. Winds tonight will come out of the west at 15 to 25 knots with gusts over 40 and waves from 3 to 5 feet. Winds on Tuesday will come out of the west at 15 to 25 knots with gusts over 30 knots, diminishing to 10 to 15 knots later in the afternoon with waves from 2 to 4 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 6 is 41 degrees and the average low is 25 degrees. The records at Baltimore on this date are 72 degrees in 1950 and 5 degree in 1904. Today's sunrise will occur at 7:26 and the sunset will occur at 4:59. 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.