Tuesday December 19 2017

We have another warm day today that may push 60ºF in some spots, which should be warmer than the 56ºF mark Baltimore hit yesterday. This is also the anniversary of the largest December snow storm in Baltimore in 2009. That was measured at 17 inches of snow and was the first of 3 blizzards that season.  Our warm up may seem ironic as the first day of Winter is two days away, but the arctic air is charging up and will reload into the US thanks to a gift by the Polar Vortex by Christmas. Locally we have two rain events on the way starting this weekend which could mean a wet Ravens game. Then leading into Christmas, but the timing of that cold air is expected to arrive at some point that day that will change rain over to snow for some.

Here is a brief look through next week. Please note that I still do not like to lock in on specifics but the general theme will be rain this weekend and then colder at some point on Christmas. The maps below are suggestions but the timing of the cold air will determine if snow will be something you see or just read about nearby. It will be a close call.

Stats For December 17

Normal High:  44ºF

Record High:  66ºF in 1931

Normal Low: 27ºF

Record Low: 6ºF in 1989

Snow Record: 17.0″ in 2009

Sunrise: 7:22 AM

Sunset 4:46 PM

*Bay Water Temperature = 44ºF at Thomas Pt. Light House

Snow To Date (at BWI): 3.8″

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High Temperatures Today

Looking Ahead:

The Jet Stream will be sending an arctic push courtesy of the Polar Vortex. This is some extreme stuff that will be in place on Christmas. The exact timing for our region is the tricky part of this forecast. But check out the core of the cold air below.

Source Of Cold Air

Northern Plains and Great Lakes on Christmas Day will have Wind Chills between -35ºF and -45ºF.

Storm Animation


Temperature Animation

Here is the animation of temperatures aloft at around 5,000 Ft. This is a good indication of the primary flow without influence of surface features. The arrival of the cold air by this GFS Model will be on Christmas Day. The precise hour of arrival could make the difference of getting accumulating snow, just flurries, or only rain ending. Then extremely cold air will enter the US for the last week of the year. Locally wil could spend a few days with highs staying below freezing in central Maryland.


  • Green = Mild
  • Blue and Purple = COLD

Closer Look


Temperature Outlook

After the mild day today. we will have one more warm up with the rain this weekend. Then…. It will get very cold! In fact, I believe we will verify colder than this model shows… meaning we could have days staying in the upper 20s to near 30ºF, especially if we get some snow cover in metro areas.



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Snowstix- We Need You To Measure Snow Too

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Get the award winning Kid Weather App I made with my oldest son and support our love for science, weather, and technology. Our 3 year anniversary of the release and our contribution to STEM education is this November. It has been downloaded in 60 countries, and works in both temperature scales. With your support we can expand on the fun introduction to science and real weather.

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Also See:

My Winter Outlook 2017-2018 for more snow

Maryland Winters

La Nina Formed: What it could mean to our winter

NOAA Winter Outlook: Not The Best But Not The Worst For Snow

Two Farmers Almanacs Winter 2018 Outlooks

Winter Weather Folkore: Suggestions from Animals and Crops

First Frost and Freeze Dates For Maryland (southern PA and northern VA)

My Preliminary Winter Outlook Notes

Low Snow Winters In Baltimore: To Repeat Or Not Repeat

NOAA Ranks Blizzard 2016 4th Worst Snowstorm On Record

Blizzard 2016 Record Top Snowstorm: Area Totals

Extreme Weather of 2015 balanced out on both ends