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Icy commute possible in Baltimore and Washington on Friday morning

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An icy commute is possible in Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington, and Richmond on Friday morning as an area of low pressure develops to the south and spreads moisture over the region. After a cold day with highs in the 30s, readings are expected to fall back into the upper 20s to lower 30s by Friday morning. When the precipitation overrides the cold air at the surface, a period of freezing rain and sleet may develop around the region. Although the precipitation will not be heavy, a period of light freezing rain can make paved surfaces slick and dangerous. The heaviest precipitation is expected to fall to the south and east of Annapolis over places like southeast Virginia, southern Maryland, and Delmarva. As the low inches northward, milder air from the Atlantic will erode the cold air at the surface and change all precipitation to rain during the day. By late morning, a chilly rain will be falling with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s. Rain showers may persist into Saturday morning, especially along coastal Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.

Once the storm exits the region, a mild pattern will develop in the Middle Atlantic region with sunshine from Sunday through Tuesday and daytime highs rising from the 40s on Sunday to the 50s and low 60s on Monday and Tuesday. A cold front will move from west to east across the region on Wednesday with rain showers and colder temperatures with highs only in the 40s. Computer forecast models are hinting at a possible return to cold and stormy conditions later next week. The American forecast model, the GFS, is less bullish about the idea of a winter pattern. This particular model shows fragmented pieces of energy that keep the cold air locked up in southern Canada and prevent an organized system from developing in the eastern half of the country. The European model, often referred to as the EURO, shows a much different pattern with an organized area of energy rolling eastward and bringing down a surge of arctic air as low pressure develops off the Atlantic coast and develops into a powerful storm. We will have to wait until this weekend to see if these models, and several others, can come into more consistent agreement on next week's pattern. Nonetheless, we should keep in mind that stormy and cold weather is not that unusual in the Middle Atlantic states in March.

In the meantime, here are some links with more specific forecasts for your location:

NWS forecast for Philadelphia, PA

NWS forecast for Baltimore, MD

NWS forecast for Washington, DC

NWS forecast for Annapolis, MD

For more weather updates, please visit my web site www.chesapeakebayweather.com, 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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