From spring to winter in a matter of hours


The Baltimore region's spring-like weather suddenly moved aside today for nasty Old Man Winter who marched in on chilling winds that were dropping temperatures rapidly toward freezing for later today and Christmas Day.

As an indicator of the sudden arrival of winter conditions, the temperature at 4:55 a.m. today in Baltimore was 64 degrees, tying a record for this date set in 1982. At the same time, a 'D record high of 65 was tied at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, also established in 1982.

But in less than a half an hour later, a wicked cold front sweeping in from the West dropped the thermometer in the city to 53 degrees, said a National Weather Service forecaster at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Wind gusts of up to 35 mph were measured during that 11-degree drop and gale warnings were posted on Chesapeake Bay.

L And it's going to get colder. And stay that way for a while.

Dick Diener, a weather service meteorologist, said today temperatures would continue to drop and tonight could be in the teens. It will seem even colder when combined with winds gusting up to 15 mph.

Diener said Christmas Day will see high temperatures of about 32 degrees, but they again will feel much colder because of 10-15 mph winds expected to continue tomorrow.

Today's cold snap, brought on by a sweeping cold front ushered in from the West, is expected to continue into the weekend, Diener said.

Another cold front already formed in Canada is to work its way toward Maryland by Thursday or Friday.

And although it seems as though it hasn't stopped raining recently, the region's accumulated rainfall has measured only 2.94 inches from Dec. 1 through midnight today, less than normal for the month. The average precipitation for the month of December is 3.4 inches, according to the weather service.

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