What cold front means for weekend weather

A blistering shock of arctic air is about to whack the mid-Atlantic and northeast with the coldest air of the season.

Overnight temperatures Friday could plunge into the 20s in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, and drop up 20 degrees below average in the Lower Mississippi Valley.

But the dig of frigid air isn’t expected to reach South Florida, which will get only an increase in rain and gusty winds from the cold front.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

Overnight lows Friday could drop into the 20s in parts of the mid-Atlantic and even colder in the northeast.

According to the National Weather Service in Miami, daytime highs Friday through Sunday should be near normal in the low 80s in West Palm Beach with overnight lows slightly above average in the low 70s.

The normal overnight low for this time of year is 67 degrees.

Rain chances also increase from 30 percent on Friday to 40 percent Saturday and Sunday.

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“We’re not really going to see a temperature change at all with this,” said Andrew Hagen, a meteorologist with the NWS in Miami. “It will just bring an increase in moisture.”

And wind.

Forecasts are calling for sustained northeast winds along the coast of 8 to 16 mph Friday with gusts as high as 21 mph. On Saturday, winds could be gusting to as high as 30 mph with sustained winds of 23 mph.

Saturday 7 p.m. wind speeds show 20 knots, 23 mph sustained.

Hagen said nearshore seas are forecast to be as high 8 to 10 feet, with seas closer to the Gulf Stream up to 12 feet.

“It won’t be a very comfortable boating weekend,” he said.

The east-northeast winds also mean increasing chances of dangerous rip currents.

Although there were no watches or warnings as of this morning, Hagen said if the strong winds do develop as forecast, there could be advisories issued closer to the weekend.

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