Region rises above freezing for first time since Monday

It's still cold, but at least a break from freezing temperatures is coming Friday.

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport hit 34 degrees by midday as temperatures across the region broke the freezing mark for the first time since Monday.

Slight winds were coming from the southwest, helping to slightly warm things up.

Some light snow showers moved over the region early Friday morning but did not cause any traffic headaches.

Thursday was Baltimore's coldest day since last winter, with a low of 6 degrees at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport significantly lower than forecast and just 2 degrees from tying a record low for Jan. 8.

Temperatures peaked at 20 degrees in the afternoon, coldest since Jan. 28 of last year, when temperatures topped out at 19 degrees. It was possible the day's high could change before midnight, with temperatures possibly rising slightly and plateauing overnight.

Friday brought some slight relief from the cold, though temperatures are still several degrees below normal. Normal temperatures this time of year are between the mid-20s and lower 40s.

Temperatures are expected to drop back to the teens early Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Baltimore health officials extended a "Code Blue" advisory through Saturday instead of ending it Friday as planned. The declaration makes extra beds available in homeless shelters and prompts coordinated efforts to reach out to homeless people and encourage them to seek shelter.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced it will be closed to the public on Friday because of the cold.

A system forecast to pass through Monday could make for another slippery commute to start next week. Forecasters expect a wintry mix of sleet and rain, with warmer air moving over the region.

sdance@baltsun.com

twitter.com/MdWeather

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