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Maryland Weather
Meteorology, astronomy and climate conditions in the Baltimore region
White Christmas? More like wet Christmas, with rainy, mild forecast

Baltimore gets a White Christmas only one year out of every decade, on average, and this is not that year.

Wet, mild weather is forecast for in the days leading up to the holiday, including Christmas Eve. While things should dry out for Christmas, temperatures will still be well above normal.

An inch to an inch and a half of rain is possible from Monday through early Christmas morning. And temperatures could near 60 degrees on Christmas Eve, expected to hit the lower 50s on Christmas Day. That is 10-15 degrees above normal for this time of year.

Wet weather is forecast up and down the East Coast on Christmas Eve, with thunderstorms possible in the Southeast and rain into New England. Snow is meanwhile expected over the Great Lakes and parts of the Midwest.

According to the National Weather Service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office, there is only a 10 percent chance of measurable snow falling on Christmas Day. The odds are slightly better, about 20 percent, if you count it as a...

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Freezing rain advisory in effect west of I-95

A freezing rain advisory is in effect in areas to the west of Interstate 95 through Monday night, with a light glaze of ice possible.

Along the I-95 corridor, drizzle is expected. Light rain is forecast to move through the region in the afternoon.

The freezing rain advisory is in effect through 8 p.m. for Howard, Carroll and northern Baltimore and Harford counties.

Temperatures are forecast in the lower 30s in those areas, with highs in the mid- to upper-30s in Baltimore and along I-95.

Tuesday will be similar with rain expected to continue early, with a tenth and quarter of an inch of precipitation possible. Tuesday will be warmer with temperatures reaching the mid-40s with rain continuing throughout the day and into the evening.

Wednesday's forecast calls for more rain but a warm up is expected with temperatures reaching the upper 50s.

Christmas will be sunny with a high of 51 degrees. Warmer temperatures will remain through the weekend.

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Winter solstice occurs at 6:03 p.m. Sunday

The winter solstice arrives at 6:03 p.m., bringing the year’s shortest day – with about 9 hours, 24 minutes of daylight in Baltimore.

The length of time the sun spends above the horizon always depends on latitude. On the shortest day of the year, there is about 10 and a half hours of daylight in Miami, 9 hours and 5 minutes in Boston and slightly less than 5 and a half hours in Anchorage, Alaska.

It's meanwhile the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, with 14 and a half hours of daylight in Sydney. The 23.5-degree tilt of the Earth's axis means while it's dark and wintry here in the Northern Hemisphere, it's the middle of summer on the other side of the planet.

The shortest day of the year does not bring the latest sunrises or earliest sunsets, though. We have already experienced the year's earliest sunsets, about a week and a half ago, and the latest sunrises await in early January.

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Some sunshine, wind chills in 30s forecast Friday

With air temperatures in the 40s and 10-15 mph winds, it is forecast to feel like the 30s throughout the day Friday.

Overnight lows were forecast in the lower to mid-30s, rising to the mid-40s by Friday afternoon. Partly cloudy skies and a northwest breeze are expected.

Similar weather is forecast Saturday, but with calmer winds, with morning lows around freezing and highs in the mid-40s. Mostly cloudy skies are expected.

Some sunshine could poke through Sunday, with lows again around freezing and highs in the lower 40s.

Rain chances are possible early next week with temperatures in the 40s.

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Baltimore expected to hit nuisance flooding 'tipping point' by 2020

Annapolis has already reached a "tipping point" with more than 30 nuisance flooding events per year, and Baltimore is expected to surpass that total by 2020, according to a NOAA study published Thursday.

By 2050, a majority of the U.S. coastline will face such frequent coastal flooding because of sea level rise, according to the article in the journal Earth's Future.

The timing varies because not all areas are as prone to flooding. Annapolis has one of the lowest nuisance flooding thresholds at 0.29 meters above a measure known as mean higher high water, the average height of an area's highest daily high tide.

Nuisance flooding occurs in Baltimore an average of 13 times per year, but that frequency is expected to grow quickly. The city is among seven points expected to experience such flooding at least 30 days a year within this decade, according to the study.

"Nuisance" flooding refers to when heavy rain causes flooding of streets and low-lying places in urban areas.

Other areas...

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Amid record global warmth, Baltimore on pace for coldest year in at least a decade

Though the globe is expected to have its warmest year on record, in Baltimore, 2014 is pacing to be the coldest year since at least 2003, if not 1996.

Through November, the average temperature at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is about 55 degrees, about two degrees colder than normal. A two-degree difference is significant when you're talking about an average spread across 11 months.

That average ranks as the eighth-coldest for January through November since record-keeping began in 1871. (The records were kept at the U.S. Customs House in downtown Baltimore until the point of record moved to BWI, then known as Friendship Airport, in 1950.)

The last time the first 11 months of the year were colder in Baltimore was 1996, when BWI averaged 53.8 degrees for the full year. In 2003, which also averaged about 55 degrees through November, the year ended up averaging 53.9 degrees.

Both of those years should ring a bell because they were commonly used for comparison...

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