Forecasters out at Sterling are warning of bitter cold by the end of this week as cold air from the Yukon rolls in. They foresee temperatures in the single digits in parts of the Baltimore region by Friday night or Saturday morning.
The official low-temperature forecast for Friday night at BWI has been shifting over the last 24 hours, from a low of 11 degrees early yesterday, to 5 degrees by the end of the day, to 10 degrees in this morning's version.
If we do touch single digits at BWI Friday into Saturday it will be the first time that's happened since an 8-degree low on Jan. 21 last year. That was the only single-digit reading the airport reported last winter. There was just one date in single digits in 2007; none in 2006; one in 2005 and six in 2004.
The coldest reading in the last five years was a 6-degree low at BWI on Jan. 10, 2004.
This morning's forecast discussion urges Marylanders to enjoy today's weather, with a comparatively mild high of 46 degrees expected this afternoon. From there on things only get colder. We won't likely see the liquid side of 32 degrees again until Sunday afternoon.
Overnight low temperatures will drop into the low 20s tonight and tomorrow night at BWI after the next cold front passes through. Wednesday night could produce a few snow showers as cold air streams in across the Great Lakes. Extreme western Maryland will likely see snow chances all week, and sub-zero cold by week's end.
High temperatures Wednesday and Thursday will stall around 30 degrees. But a second, reinforcing wave of frigid air from the arctic will roll in later on Thursday (above), driving overnight temperatures at BWI into the low teens. There's little moisture in this air mass, but there may be a few isolated snow showers, especially in western or extreme northern sections of the state, forecasters say.
The front comes with stiff winds, which will mean gale warnings on the bay and wind chills to zero or below. Forecasters may need to issue wind chill advisories or warnings for Thursday night or Friday morning.
Friday will be the coldest day of the week, with a high struggling to reach 20 degrees at the airport. Winds during the day will ease, but it will still be extremely uncomfortable outdoors. And the overnight low could reach single digits, or even lower.
Even colder lows are expected to our north. New York City on Friday night is forecast to experience its first sub-zero temperatures since January 1994.
So enjoy today's "balmy" weather, "the one day warm weather lovers can spend outdoors before the mid-Atlantic ventures into the deep freeze," forecasters quipped.
Comedians, those guys.
Looking ahead, forecasters think the cold will ease some in time for Tuesday's inauguration, but there is a chance for light snow in the District the night before. Here's AccuWeather.com's Inauguration Day forecast. That's President Taft's stormy 1909 inauguration scene, above.