WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

A Windy Weekend

Posted February 13, 2012

It's interesting how "spoiled" (maybe acclimated is a nicer term!) we can become to a milder than normal winter. We had a relatively strong cold front cross the area on Saturday afternoon that really seemed to a lot of us like a big blast of cold arctic air, and by the standards of this winter so far, it was. Temperatures in the upper 40s to low 50s at mid-afternoon on Saturday fell into the 30s by sunset in many spots, and we saw winds that gusted late Saturday afternoon and Saturday night as high as 43 mph at RDU and Burlington, 44 mph at Fayetteville and Rocky Mount, and generally upper 30s to low 40s around the area, enough to give a real bite to the colder air that was rushing in.

By Sunday morning, we'd fallen into the upper teens to mid 20s for temperatures around the bulk of the area, and with some gusty winds continuing into the early morning, our wind chills were in the single digits to low teens at times. All of that represents a decent blast of cold compared to a lot of what we've experienced this winter, but it was really pretty "middle of the road" by historical winter standards for the area. We ended up with a low at RDU of 21 on Sunday morning, for example, and followed that with a high of 42, pretty chilly for a full day of sunshine when compared to the normal high of 55 for the date. For some perspective, though, a check of RDU records shows that for February 12, we've had a low temperature as cold as 6 degrees (not counting any wind chill) back in 1973, and our high temperature on that date has been as low as 26 in 1955, making our 42 seem a little balmy by comparison!

It appears the rest of the week will feature a return to more seasonable temperatures, and we may even hit 60 or a little higher on Wednesday. We remain in a fairly dry pattern as well, with only a trace to a few hundredths of an inch of precipitation likely, on kind of a patchy basis, with a system coming through tomorrow, and perhaps a little better shot at rain (anywhere from a tenth or so on the low end to perhaps as much as half-inch or so) on Thursday.


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