Wind chills made it feel as cold as 10 degrees below zero around Baltimore early Friday morning, and the extreme cold is forecast to continue through Saturday.
Air temperatures fell to 10 degrees for several hours early Friday, but with steady 10-15 mph winds and 20-30 mph gusts, it felt as much as 20 degrees colder, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures were slow to climb during the day, reaching 16 degrees at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport by noon. With 25 mph winds and 36 mph gusts, it still felt like 3 degrees below zero.
A wind chill advisory is in effect across all of Maryland — except for Garrett County and western Allegany County, where a wind chill warning cautions that it could feel as cold as 35 degrees below zero there.
At the Garrett County Airport, temperatures were at 6 degrees below zero with a wind chill of 28 degrees below zero at 10 a.m.
Other reported wind chills included: 15 below in Perry Hall and Park Heights, 12 below in Columbia, 11 below in Westminster and Frederick, 9 below in Arbutus and 8 below in Annapolis, according to the weather service.
In Central Maryland, the wind chill advisory is in effect through 11 a.m. Friday, and is set to resume from 6 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday.
Highs are forecast only in the upper teens Friday and Saturday afternoons, and temperatures are expected to fall to 6 degrees early Saturday morning and 3 degrees early Sunday morning at BWI. Both forecasts are close to record lows of 5 degrees and 3 degrees for Jan. 6 and 7, respectively.
“Despite ample sunshine today across the region, high temperatures will struggle to make it out of the teens for most, with the cities seeing the best chance of cracking 20 degrees, but definitely not certain,” weather service forecasters wrote Friday morning.
The cold is blowing down from the Arctic as a result of a massive dip in the jet stream covering the eastern United States. The jet stream is a flow of air high up in the atmosphere that steers weather systems and separates frigid polar air from milder, humid tropical air.
Winds make it feel colder than the ambient air temperature because it pulls more heat from the body.
Meteorologists and health officials urge residents to limit time spent out in the cold and to dress in many layers. They warned that frostbite can develop on exposed skin in a matter of minutes in such cold weather.