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Chesapeake Bay Weather Week in Review: February 16 through February 22

National Weather Service forecast map
National Weather Service forecast map
Map courtesy National Weather Service

The week of February 16 began with sunny and cold conditions on Sunday the 16th and Monday the 17th with high temperatures only in the mid 30s. A weak area of low pressure moved from west to east across the bay late on the 17th and into the early morning hours of Tuesday the 18th. This prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Weather Advisory for the Annapolis area. As it turned out, the system was quite weak and starved of moisture. Nonetheless, about one inch of snow accumulated across the region. By the afternoon hours of Tuesday the 18th the sun broke through the clouds and temperatures rebounded into the 40s, which resulted in quite a bit of melting of the morning snowfall. The air behind the frontal system was not all that cold; consequently, afternoon readings once again broke into the upper 40s near the bay shore to the mid 50s inland. A sunny, pleasant, and seasonable day followed on Thursday the 19th with highs once again in the upper 40s to mid 50s.

Our weather took an interesting twist on Friday the 20th as another cold front approached from the west. Warm air ahead of the front surged into the coastal plain so that readings climbed into the 60s and 70s over southeast Virginia and the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. As the front approached the bay, a line of showers and thunderstorms developed during the late morning hours. As a precaution, the National Weather Service posted a Tornado Watch for the entire Chesapeake Bay area. As expected, most of the severe weather occurred over southern Maryland where a tornado was confirmed with minor damage. Other areas reported gusty winds, heavy downpours, and rumbles of thunder in the late-February sky.

As with the cold front earlier in the week, the air behind this front was anything but cold. Area residents enjoy bright sunshine and mild temperatures on Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd as daytime highs soared into the low to mid 60s, with mid to upper 50s closer to the bay shore. Overall, this was one of the more interesting weeks of the winter season with a Winter Weather Advisory and a Tornado Watch all in the same week. For the first time in weeks we enjoyed temperatures above normal and the thick blanket of snow gradually began to melt away, leaving only piles of snow and ice in parking lots and driveways.

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.