Published: 2013-10-24 05:45:00
Updated: 2013-10-24 15:35:14
Posted October 24, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Cold air poured into central and eastern North Carolina early Thursday behind the first of two passing cold fronts, setting up a brisk close to the work week and prompting forecasters to issue a freeze watch for Saturday.
The National Weather Service issued the freeze watch for Wake County, effective from 1 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
On Thursday, temperatures fell into the upper 30s across parts of the Triangle near daybreak, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a frost advisory for dozens of counties from 5 to 9 a.m.
"The big change in our temperatures has arrived. We're about 15 to 20 degrees cooler than we were at this time Wednesday," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "It's quite chilly out there this morning, and these cooler temperatures are going to be with us for the next several days."
Highs Thursday will climb into the upper 50s, about 10 degrees below normal for late October. Despite the chill, sunshine will be the dominant feature of the forecast until at least Sunday, Gardner said.
"Don't let the sun fool you," she said. "You will need a jacket all day Thursday, especially if you're going to be heading out to the State Fair or if you have other outdoor plans."
Another front will move through the region late Thursday, allowing reinforcing cold air to set up shop for Friday and Saturday.
Highs Friday will struggle to reach 55 degrees, and overnight lows Friday night will dip below freezing. Temperatures haven't been below freezing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport since March 29, when the low reached 28 degrees.
A gradual warm-up will begin Sunday, as temperatures will climb back into the mid-60s.