84-year-old cold temperature record falls

That crash you heard this morning all over Baltimore was the sound of another record falling. This morning's low of 10 degrees just before dawn at BWI-Marshall Airport was the coldest official reading on a March 3 since record-keeping began in 1871. It shattered the previous record of 12 degrees, last reached downtown on this date in 1925.

And if you were outside in the wind for any length of time this morning, you appreciated just how cold that was. It's just not supposed to feel that bitterly cold in March.

And we're not likely to see the wet side of freezing at all today. The forecast high is just 27 degrees. That, too, will see us flirting with a record. The coldest high temperature on record for a March 3 in Baltimore is 26 degrees, set on this date in 1960. 

Forecasters are calling for a low tonight of just 11 degrees. No record will be in jeopardy, however. It was just 5 degrees in Baltimore on March 4, 1873.

It's been quite a week for weather records in Charm City. On Saturday we set a new record low for precipitation in February - a mere .26 inch at BWI. On Monday we set a new record for snowfall on a March 2 in Baltimore - 4.7 inches. That beat the previous record of 3.7 inches set back in 1969. There was 8.3 inches by 10 a.m. yesterday in Annapolis, where Sun photographer Ken Lam captured the image above.

Hate snow? Can't wait for spring? Well, have a look at this delightful gallery of snow photos from the Spruce Hill photo blog, and try to remember the magic.

Here are more snow tallies from across the region. And here are several interesting temperature readings around noon Eastern Time today: Jacksonville, Fla. - 50 degrees. Atlanta, Ga. - 37 degrees. Helena, Mont. - 44 degrees.

The good news is that we are headed up the slope toward more springlike weather by the weekend. We are under a very strong, very cold dome of high pressure. Highs circulate clockwise, so as this high moves east, we'll lose the cold northwest winds and come into the return flow of warmer breezes from the south by Wednesday. 

The forecast calls for daytime highs to reach 53 degrees by Friday, just above the normal high for this time of year at BWI. Saturday could reach 57 degrees, and Sunday could hit 60. (Who remembers it was 65 at the airport last Friday?)

We should be looking at sunshine throughout the period (and good stargazing, especially tonight), with no rain in the forecast until showers threaten on Monday. 

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