Published: 2015-02-14 08:14:00
Updated: 2015-02-14 17:38:53
Posted February 14, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Bright sunshine was shining across central and eastern North Carolina Saturday afternoon, but bitterly cold air and gusty winds are headed toward the area.
Southwesterly winds will increase throughout the day, and gusts could reach 20 to 30 mph during the afternoon and evening, WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said. The central part of the state, including Wake, Durham and Orange counties, is under increased risk for fire danger, according to the National Weather Service.
"Because of the very dry air we have in place, today is probably not the best day to do any burning outside," he said. "Brush fires could spread quickly with the stiff breeze."
Overnight, the winds will combine with temperatures in the teens to create dangerous wind chill conditions.
Winds will increase even more Saturday evening, and much of central North Carolina is under a wind advisory from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sunday morning. Sustained winds could be between 15 and 25 mph, and gusts could reach 35 to 45 mph.
Breezy conditions will persist on the final day of the weekend, and temperatures won't climb out of the upper 20s all day.
Highs will return to the mid-30s on Monday ahead of an approaching front, one that could generate wintry precipitation for the area on Tuesday.
"There is a big spread of conditions on the models still, so it's hard to talk specifics with Tuesday's system," Moss said. "We could have areas of snow, freezing precipitation or even rain."
The system should clear out of the area on Tuesday night into Wednesday, but bitterly cold temperatures will stay put throughout the work week.
High temperatures will be in the 30s all week, and overnight lows will be in the low 20s and teens.