Published: 2014-03-20 06:43:00
Updated: 2014-03-20 11:15:43
Posted March 20, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Sunshine will return to mark the first day of spring across central and eastern North Carolina on Thursday, sending afternoon temperatures into the mid-60s.
"We'll have one band of clouds move through early today, and then we'll have abundant sunshine and much warmer temperatures," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
Fog could be an issue for commuters Thursday morning, but it should burn off my mid-morning as temperatures begin to climb steadily through the 40s and 50s.
"Southwesterly winds and a high pressure system are going to warm us up nicely by the afternoon hours," Gardner said.
Temperatures will remain warm to close out the week, climbing into the mid-60s on Friday and low 70s on Saturday.
The first day of the weekend will be warmer than average despite increased cloud cover, a trend marking the approach of another cold front moving toward North Carolina from the Pacific Northwest.
"We could have a spotty shower or two Saturday evening, and a better chance for rain arrives on Sunday as a front stalls over the area," Gardner said. "We'll also be much cooler on Sunday, about 20 degrees colder than on Saturday. Our rain won't be steady all day, but the area has about a 40 percent chance to see on-and-off showers."
Behind the system, daytime highs will return to the 40s during the first half of next week, about 15 to 20 degrees below normal for late March.
"What you have to remember is that normal, especially during the spring, is just the middle point between two extremes," Gardner said. "We typically have more extremes this time of year than anything else. Temperatures will continue to fluctuate a good bit during the next week or so."