First Warning Forecast: Cold end to the workweek before snow kicks off the weekend

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Posted at 7:18 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 23:36:25-05

Meteorologist Kristy Steward's First Warning Forecast

Good Wednesday evening! A Canadian high pressure system had influence over us today. We had plenty of sunshine and cold temperatures. This high will stick around for another day.

Tonight temperatures drop to the mid 20s under a clear sky. North-northwest winds pick up to 10-15 MPH, putting wind chill values in the mid-teens when you wake up Thursday morning.

Lots of sunshine persists Thursday, but high temperatures will only reach the upper 30s. Thursday night, clouds begin to increase ahead of our active weather pattern that will kick off the weekend.

Two systems will merge over the Mid-Atlantic and create a very strong center of low pressure just offshore Friday night into Saturday. This will bring us accumulating snow and very strong winds.

Rain Friday evening quickly changes over to heavy snow likely around 10 PM Friday and continues through Saturday morning. Exact amounts are extremely variable. Some models have us getting 8-13” while others have us getting 2-5”. Currently, your First Warning Storm Team is thinking around 3-7”, but this could and likely will change over the next couple days.

What will determine these amounts will be where exactly these two systems merge together. If it happens a bit more east, we’ll have lower snow totals. If it happens more west, we’ll get more snow. Right now, it looks like the bulls-eye this time is over the Eastern Shore, but that could also shift in the coming days. Either way, we are talking another event with significant snowfall for this area.

Aside from the snow potential, this system will also bring us strong north-northwesterly winds of 20-25 MPH with gusts up to 45 MPH Friday night – Saturday night. This means blowing and drifting snow that will likely cause significant travel disruptions. These strong winds will also bring 7-10 feet breaking waves along the Atlantic coast and tidal flooding. We are currently expecting minor tidal flooding with 1-2 feet of inundation Saturday morning around 7 AM. Strong northerly winds will also usher in much colder air and make it feel a lot colder than the air temperature outside.

Highs on Friday in the mid 40s drop to the upper 20s overnight, warming to near freezing Saturday afternoon. However, behind this system is when the real cold arrives. Air temperatures in the mid-teens Saturday night will feel like the single digits if not below zero once you factor in the wind. If you don’t have to be outside Saturday night into Sunday morning, don’t go outside. Also, plan to protect your pipes from freezing.

Lots of sunshine Sunday into the workweek will help temperatures gradually warm back up. Highs in the mid 30s Sunday to the low 40s Monday and mid 40s Tuesday. Wednesday we finally see a decent amount of warmth again with highs in the mid 50s.

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