Saturday December 10 – Heavy snow measured in feet and bitter cold has made headlines from the Great Lakes and northern states. We have been focused on the chance of snow light snow or a wintry mix ahead of the next system. But the actual temperatures deserve to get some attention. It is December after all, and arctic air starts to influence our weather normally. I also know the mention of the Polar Vortex may conjure up memories of the 2014 winter freeze on the Chesapeake Bay and when some schools closed because it was too cold.
Please keep in mind that the circulation known as the Polar Vortex is expected to remain in Canada but skirt the US broader just north of New York and New England… near Montreal. It is a real thing, not media hype. It does drop south occasionally in the winter to bring us extremely cold air masses. Next week will be one of them. The ample supply of cold air is good for those with Faith in the Flakes to bring above average chances of a White Christmas. FITF.
The core of the main batch of (colder) air will arrive Thursday and be fully in place Friday. With reference to Baltimore, temperature are expected to be 15 to 20 degrees below average. On December 16, BWI would expect:
- Low of 28°F
- High of 45°F
Temperatures Friday morning will be closer to the record low of 10°F set in 1951
Note that computer models have climatology built in to longer range projections. So extreme air masses can be underestimated this far out since there is an anomaly with what we would normally experience this early in winter. Also, the extent of snow cover on the ground to our west and north will play a role in how cold the air to our north may be when it arrives.