Chilly weather could set odd record
After barely touching 50 degrees yesterday, the thermometer out at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport could be headed for a strange new record as we slosh through the weekend.
Steve Zubrick, the science and operations officer out at the NWS Sterling forecast office, says it looks like the mercury at BWI won't escape the 40s again until Monday, when the sun finally comes out. The forecast highs currently are 48, 44, 45 and 46 degrees respectively, Thursday through Sunday.
If that happens, it will be the first time since official record-keeping began in Baltimore in 1871 that we've gone four straight days in October without hitting 50 degrees.
"Three times there have been three days in a row of less than 50 degrees F," Zubrick said, "all at the end of the month, starting on Oct. 29." Those events occurred in 1893, 1925 and 2002. "But never four in a row."
And here we are, barely halfway through October, and we're already threatening four straight days under 50 degrees.
Zubrick also doubts that I will be able to keep my hands off the thermostat until Nov. 1, was my plan. He's already switched his furnace on at least once this month. But I have held out. So far. My wife doesn't seem to be as committed to this goal as I am. We'll see how we do this weekend.
Anyway, we can blame a series of storm systems, some coming out of the Ohio Valley, and others developing along the coast, that are pumping cool, wet Atlantic air off the ocean. It seems like mostly drizzle for now, but forecasters at Sterling say we could see as much as a half-inch this afternoon, and another half inch tonight.
These storms will also be dragging cold air in with snow showers or freezing rain in the mountains. Snow is forecast tonight for parts of northern and western Pennsylvania, and as far south as Garrett County, Md.
The folks at Sterling expect that will make each night through early Sunday colder than the last, sinking into the 30s and increasing the chances for a wintry mix spreading beyond the higher elevations.
For late Saturday and early Sunday, they say, "the rain/snow mix could even creep into the far northwest Baltimore/Washington suburbs."