Raleigh, N.C. — Temperatures were well below normal early Thursday across central and eastern North Carolina, with some areas seeing morning lows dip into the upper 50s.
Thanks to clouds associated with a stationary cold front south and east of the Triangle, much of the region will stay cool for the next several days. The front will also produce rain showers as early as Friday morning, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
"Areas south and east of our viewing area could see rain sprinkles and showers Thursday because of their proximity to the front, and the entire area will get wet Friday, Saturday and probably Sunday as well," she said. "It's really going to be a soaker the next several days."
By noon on Thursday, the high had only reached the mid-70s at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 10 to 15 degrees below normal for mid-August. Spots north and west of the Triangle will likely see more sunshine, while areas to the south and east will likely see more clouds.
On Friday, as rain showers become more abundant, temperatures will struggle to reach the low 70s.
"We could start to see showers become more widespread as early as the Friday morning commute," Gardner said. "Those chances will increase throughout the day and linger into the weekend."
Daytime highs will return to the mid-70s Saturday and then return to the low 80s Sunday, when rain chances will diminish for some areas. Rainfall totals could top 1 to 2 inches in the Triangle, and spots in the southeastern portion of the state could see more, Gardner said.
By the beginning of the work week, highs will return to the mid-80s.
"We'll get back into our summer pattern with warm temperatures and scattered afternoon showers next week, but the next few days are going to stay abnormal as this front lingers."
Erin forms in eastern Atlantic
Tropical Storm Erin formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean early Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm, which is southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, has maximum sustained winds of about 40 mph.
Forecasters predict additional strengthening during the next few days.
"This storm is way out in the Atlantic Ocean, and it's moving pretty slowly," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "It's something we're not too worried about right now, but we'll definitely be tracking this storm over the next several days.".
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the southern Cape Verde Islands of Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava.
The storm is centered about 65 miles west-southwest of Brava and is moving west-northwest near 14 mph.