That was bracing! Overnight lows ranged from around minus-8 degrees out in Garrett County, to about 11 degrees in Aberdeen. Here is a map with National Weather Service observer reports.
We recorded a low of 10 degrees out on the WeatherDeck in Cockeysville. The mercury here at The Sun's weather command center was 12.4 degrees, which held pretty steady until 10 a.m. The low out at BWI Marshall Airport was 10 degrees, reached just before 7 a.m.
And as if that weren't enough, the forecasters at Sterling say we're in for even colder lows tonight, after a day that will struggle to top 20 degrees - about 20 degrees below the long-term average for the date. The forecast low for BWI tonight is just 7 degrees. That would be the coldest since an 6-degree morning back on Jan. 10, 2004.
The good news is that skies tonight will be crystal clear under this huge, dry arctic high-pressure system parked over the eastern half of the country (left).Last night's sky was crammed with bright winter stars, and the evening commute home was graced by the brilliant planet Venus, high in the southwestern sky. Venus is near its highest position this winter, setting a full three hours after the sun. Turn to the east and you can admire the bright stars of the constellation Orion, with his familiar three-star belt. I went up the street to get the mail last night, turned and headed back to the house while gaping at the night sky. Got so distracted I walked right past my own house. Beautiful.
From here the weather will warm a bit - rising nearly to the freezing mark Saturday afternoon in advance of the president-elect's visit to Baltimore. If you're going, dress warmly, then add another layer. Hours of standing in the sub-freezing cold will take a toll on you, and in that crowd, it will not be quick or easy to get to someplace warm.
Going to the ObamaRama tomorrow, or to the inauguration on Tuesday? ? Here are some cold-weather tips from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:
Use the Layering Principle
* Base Layer: Wear fabrics that keep your skin dry and prevent a
* Insulating Layer: Wear a vest or shirt made of fleece or wool.
This may be added or removed depending on how cold you feel.
* Windproof and Water-Resistant Outer Layer: Wear a jacket,
preferably with a hood, to help protect you from the elements.
* Briefs: Wear briefs made of synthetic fabric, preferably nylon
or polyester. Cotton or cotton-blend fabrics should be avoided since they hold moisture and do not dry quickly.
* Tights or Thermals: Wear tights, winter-weight hose or thermals
when temperatures are below 30 degrees Fahrenheit or when it is windy.
Silk or polypropylene long thermal bottoms are best. Tights or hose can also help prevent chafing and chapped skin on the thighs and calves.
* Gloves or Mittens: Keep your hands warm for cold weather comfort
and protection. Mittens are warmer than gloves. If you keep your fingers together, they warm each other.
Socks and Shoes
* Hiking Socks: Protect your feet from the elements when you are
walking in cold weather. Wear a hiking sock offering a wicking polypropylene liner sock under a wool over sock. Be careful that you don't wear a sock so padded and bulky that it crowds your toes in your shoes.
* Hiking Boots or Trail Shoes: Wear light hiking boots or trail
running shoes that are waterproof. Be sure the shoes have a flexible sole.
Protect Your Eyes, Lips, Skin, Neck and Face
* Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from sun glare.
* Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen. Keep in mind winter*s sun
radiation is more intense.
* Lip balm: Prevent chapped lips. Balms with sun protection are
even better in the outdoors.
* Hats, Hoods and Scarfs: Protect your head, neck and ears leaving
only your face exposed. A scarf can be pulled up to cover your nose.
Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness are signs of hypothermia. Babies with hypothermia have bright red, cold skin, and very low energy. Seek immediate medical attention for if you experience any of these conditions. For more information on public health and emergency preparedness for the inauguration, click on *Inauguration Tips* at http://dhmh.state.md.us.
Health o also offer food tips for residents attending the inauguration:
Many residents are preparing to attend the upcoming inaugural events, and due to expected large crowds and long lines, some may plan to bring food. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends the following examples of small, pocket-size packs of simple, easy to carry, healthy and non-perishable food items:
* Dried Fruit - Dried Apples, Raisins, Cranberries, Apricots,
Peaches, Blueberries or others
* Nuts - Almonds, Brazil Peanuts, Cashews, Macadamia ,
Pistachios, Pecans, Soy and Walnuts
* Seeds - Shelled pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
* Food Bars - Energy and granola bars
* Crackers - Plain and flavored
* Cereal/Granola - Breakfast-type cereals and trail mix,
* Cookies - Graham Crackers, Oatmeal , Gingersnaps
* Chips - Pretzels, Bagel chips, Baked Chips, Pita chips,
For more information on public health and emergency preparedness for the inauguration, click on *Inauguration Tips* at: