State News

Arctic air to descend on N.C.

Posted January 14, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— A blast of arctic air will soon send shivers across North Carolina. A cold front will move in early Thursday, pushing the mercury below freezing.

"The cold front will be just about on us at 7 a.m. Thursday. The sun will be coming up, and that will be competing with the cold air. Initially, the sun will win the battle ... and temperatures will go up temporarily during the morning and into the midday hours," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

WRAL Weather team WRAL WeatherCenter Forecast

Thursday's highs – in the mid 30s or lower 40s – will occur early in the day before temperatures begin to plummet.

By afternoon, it will be windy with temperatures falling. As the sun sets, the wind will pick up, gusting up to 25 mph and creating a feeling of temperatures in the teens.

Temperatures will drop Thursday night into the teens in much of the state and into the single digits in western counties.

It won't warm up much Friday. The forecast high is a frigid 27 degrees. The temperature could drop to 9 degrees early Saturday.

"That would be the coldest since Jan. 29, 2000," Fishel said.

Temperatures are expected to moderate Saturday, but remain below normal for this time of year.

With such cold weather, it is important to take steps to keep exposed pipes from bursting and to make sure pets are protected. Low temperatures can also result in more dead car batteries. Weak batteries typically go dead in frigid weather.

The homeless are also more at risk as prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can result in hypothermia.

Wake County Human Services will implement its "White Flag" system when temperatures hit 32 degrees. An actual white flag is displayed at shelters as a reminder to come inside and get out of the cold. More people are also allowed to stay than usual. 

Durham Rescue Mission officials plan to activate "Operation Warm Shelter," their effort to help provide shelter for the homeless during extreme cold.


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  • bs101fly Jan 14, 2009

    by the end of next week 60+!!!
    winter ends Tuesday!
    0 for the last 8 for any substantial snow.
    Once again this year, Nada!

  • mwilliams2 Jan 14, 2009

    nobama, by your own logic, every time you sweat during the hot summer, you must think Al Gore is a genius! Congratulations on coming around, in your own illogical way!

  • wildervb Jan 14, 2009

    "Every time I shiver this winter it reminds me how stupid Al Gore and the left is."

    The ignorance of that statement speaks for itself.

  • Z Man Jan 14, 2009

    I saw on the news that the lowest temp ever recorded in Raleigh was -9. This won't even come close.

  • nobama Jan 14, 2009

    Every time I shiver this winter it reminds me how stupid Al Gore and the left is.

  • XLAW Jan 14, 2009

    Christmas Eve/Morning 1983 the temperature here in Raleigh got down to 4 degrees and the wind chill was -40. With a bunch of crazy friends we were camping in the Shenandoah National Forest. That night the wind chill was -100, the coldest ever recorded. We put mattresses on the cabin walls and zipped sleeping bags together and prayed for morning. During the night we heard transformers explode. The next morning our cars wouldn't start and thankfully someone came up from the valley with a battery and cables. I went down the mountain at 4-5 mph fearing the tires would break from the cold. Now that was cold!

  • bs101fly Jan 14, 2009

    "vote for Sarah Palin!"

    HA HA HA HA HA... NEVER going to happen.

    "maybe even entering a mini ice age."

    HA HA HA HA HA HA... You and Greg Fishel keep on hoping for that, while the rest of us smell the sniffing salts!

  • TeresaBee Jan 14, 2009

    Why get on WRAL's case? They are reporting the weather. It will be cold. Alaska reports their cold weather too.
    One thing about this area is no matter what the "bad weather" is we are always just a few days away from "nice weather"

  • Randy Cox Jan 14, 2009

    "I bet Al Gore will find a way to blame the cold weather on Global Warming."

    Yeah, cuz anyone who believes in Global Warming is stupid and just nothing but a commie. Obviously Global Warming is a lie because it's cold outside right now! Global Warming is dumb! Evolution is Dumb! Empirical research is dumb! Science is dumb!

    You "scientists" just need to read the Bible and vote for Sarah Palin!

  • wildervb Jan 14, 2009

    "Instead of Global Warming, we're now getting Global Cooling.

    I bet Al Gore will find a way to blame the cold weather on Global Warming.

    Seriously, it's January. It's supposed to be cold."

    Even more seriously, local weather conditions aren't a good measure of Global warming or cooling. Long term global trends are a little harder to track and document. The overall trend has been towards warming, but that doesn't mean we won't have occasional cold spells.

    One possible consequence of Global Warming could be the shutting down of the Gulf Stream Current. If this happens, while the rest of the world gets warmer, Northern Europe will get much colder maybe even entering a mini ice age.