Raleigh, N.C. — A chilly blast hit Triangle residents Thursday morning but temperatures are expected to soar into the 70s Saturday, just in time for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
"It really is nippy out there. You'll have to grab the winter coats this morning heading out the door, and you'll have to do the same tomorrow," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. "Then we shift gears, and we'll see a big warm-up heading into the weekend."
After a below-freezing start to the day, high temperatures Thursday should climb into the low 50s, Gardner said. Skies will be clear and dry for the most part, but breezy conditions will accentuate the chill.
"(With) high temperatures only in the low 50s, that's very winter-like," she said. "With the wind, it's going to feel even colder."
Cloud cover will move in overnight, ushering in a cool morning, but Friday will start the weekend warm-up, pushing highs into the high 50s and low 60s.
"As we head through the afternoon, our winds shift to southwesterly and, this time of year, that's what it's all about," Gardner said. "We get that wind shift and we start to see that warmer air coming in from the south."
Then comes Saturday, which will finally give Triangle residents a sunny dose of spring. The high at Raleigh-Durham International Airport Saturday is projected to be 74 degrees.
Temperatures dip back into the low 60s on Sunday, teetering above and below the 60-degree mark as the work week begins.
"It's that time of year where we have some serious ups and downs with our temperatures, and this 7-day period will certainly show that," Gardner said.