Published: 2014-03-13 05:40:00
Updated: 2014-03-13 05:55:02
Posted March 13, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Strong northwesterly winds will linger across central and eastern North Carolina all day Thursday, making abundant sunshine relatively ineffective, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
Daytime highs will be in the low to mid-40s, about 25 degrees colder than on Wednesday and 15 to 20 degrees below normal for the middle of March.
"It will be awfully cold today, and the wind is going to make wind chills feel even colder," Gardner said. "We could have gusts up to 30 to 35 mph, and it's going to feel like 30s for much of the day."
Strong winds were responsible for at least two deaths in North Carolina on Wednesday. A man in Winston-Salem was killed Thursday afternoon when a tree fell on his car, and a 55-year-old Chapel Hill man died at about 6:45 p.m. when a tree fell onto the back porch of his home on Roper Lane.
Due to the strong winds and low humidity expected throughout the day, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for almost the entire state from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged, as fires could grow rapidly and spread out of control.
"Those winds are going to be strong enough to cause a fire risk today," Gardner said.
Highs will climb into the upper 50s on the final day of the work week under partly sunny skies, and temperatures will return to the mid-60s by Saturday.
Clouds and rain will return on Sunday as high temperatures slip back into the mid-50s.