It's going to get warmer, forecasts say, but just a bit

January 10, 1994|By Staff Report

Frigid temperatures that kept Baltimore-area residents shivering and cars from starting over the weekend are expected to moderate this week -- but only gradually.

And residents face the possibility of a slick commute tomorrow morning, with weather forecasts calling for a 30 percent chance of sleet or light snow, changing to rain in the afternoon.

Overnight temperatures last night were expected to drop to 10 degrees in the suburbs and to the mid- to upper teens downtown.

Yesterday, the thermometer hit a low of 14 degrees at Baltimore Washington International Airport shortly before 7 a.m. and dipped to 17 downtown shortly after midnight -- bone-chilling, but well above the record for the date of 2 degrees at the airport, set in 1970, and 6 degrees in the city, set in 1875.

Yesterday's high was 28 at the airport and 30 in the city.

Normal high for this time in January is 42, with the normal low of 28, said Amet Figueroa, a forecaster for the National Weather Service.

Today's high should be about 30 degrees, he said, with overnight lows in the upper teens or low 20s. By tomorrow, temperatures should reach the mid- to upper-30s and move into the low 40s after that.

Mr. Figueroa said the cold is the result of a "massive area of high pressure that extends from near the Arctic Circle to the southern states.

"Cold air is running unretarded down the pike. Plus, the ground is very cold, making a cold situation colder."

Emergency calls for assistance to the local office of the American Automobile Association were coming in at the rate of about 100 per hour, about three times normal, said Edward Potts, vice president of member services. Most of the calls were from people who could not get their cars started, he said, though a few were from drivers stuck on icy secondary roads.

Despite the cold, homeless shelters in Baltimore still had 100 vacancies as of Friday, said Joanne Selinske, director of the mayor's Office for Homeless Services. That was the latest figure available. The 13 facilities that receive city homeless funds added 315 beds in November as part of the city's "Winter Plan" for the homeless, she said.

In Baltimore County, Dover Road in Cockeysville was closed briefly yesterday because of ice but was reopened after the road was salted, police said.

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