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Friday temps sink to record at BWI, wind chills could reach -19

Friday was expected to be one of the coldest days of the year, but officially became record-breaking this morning at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The airport recorded a temperature of 1 degree at 6:54 a.m., according to the National Weather Service, with a wind chill of -13.

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The temperature broke the airport's previous record for this day of 4 degrees, set on Feb. 20, 1979.

"It was brutally cold," said Matt Elliott, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

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By 9 a.m. the airport temperature was a balmy 6 degrees, but the NWS has declared a Wind Chill Advisory until noon due to temperatures in the single digits through the morning. The service says there could be "dangerous" wind chills as low as -19 degrees.

The day is expected to get marginally warmer, but temperatures likely won't rise above 14 degrees before dropping again Friday night.

Elliott said Friday night may break another local record low of 8 degrees set in 1885. "We're forecasting right around there," he said. "It will be close."

The cold has frozen over some rivers and creeks. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources' 73-foot buoy tender, J.C. Widener, worked this week to break ice around the Annapolis Harbor, Spa Creek and the Severn River.

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Saturday should bring snow and sleet with a high near 29 degrees and winds up to 22 mph, the weather service said.

Freezing rain and rain should follow Saturday night and Sunday, respectively, and sunshine should return -- albeit with temperatures remain well below freezing -- early next week, the weather service said.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cmcampbell6

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