Whipping winds, chilly temps end 2008

Posted December 31, 2008

— Strong winds and cold temperatures will close out 2008.

The National Weather Service issued wind advisories, warnings and watches across the state on Wednesday. Motorists driving vans, campers, trailers and other tall vehicles were advised to be extra cautious.

"We can file this one in the 'this doesn't happen every day' category," WRAL Meteorologist Nate Johnson wrote in his blog.

A strong cold front moved across the state Wednesday morning and was followed by very strong high pressure.

Highs reached the mid-50s in the Triangle around midday and then began plummeting in the late afternoon. By evening, the temperatures had dropped to the upper-30s.

Around 11 p.m. temperatures dropped to just below freezing and the winds died down,  WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Wind gusts of 39 mph were recorded at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

At Grandfather Mountain, officials recorded a wind gust at 104 mph early Wednesday. Three-second gusts from 80 -100 mph were experienced all day, officials said.

2009 forecast

The first day of 2009 will be sunny and cold with much less wind. Highs will reach the lower 40s. Thursday night will be fair followed by increasing cloudiness. Lows will dip into the upper 20s and rise a bit toward morning.

Friday will be mostly cloudy with some patchy light rain. Saturday will be sunny with near normal temperatures. Sunday will be mostly cloudy and a bit milder.


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  • batteringram69 Dec 31, 2008

    Live team coverage at 5 of the wind storm of December 31, 2008. I hope we don't have any power outages, I don't know what we'd do without access to our computers, we'd go nuts in a room with flashlights and candles and having to spend quality family time having a conversation.

  • soundwave Dec 31, 2008

    Ahh Darius, you got it right...
    The wind blowing my hair- me running down the road chasing after it.
    Good times...

  • lma1973 Dec 31, 2008

    I think there should be in depth coverage of the wind situation there. I mean this is getting serious folks. They should have someone live on TV showing us the perils that await us all if we dare venture out in this mess.

  • oldrebel Dec 31, 2008

    I cana't recall an afternoon where the gusting is as continuous at the strengths these gusts have been, in a very long time. It just keeps on and on. Most of my yard ornaments are now in the street or the neighbors yard across the street. It is really doing some blowing. The wind chimes are like they're playing a symphony out there!

  • DowntownGirl Dec 31, 2008

    Ah, Darius, I enjoyed the chuckle I got out of your comment. Laughter feels so good.

  • angora2 Dec 31, 2008

    Darius, are you for real?

  • 93mastercraft Dec 31, 2008

    This wind is very strong. I just got back from dragging our trampoline back from 2 neighbor's yards away.

  • Bon Viveur Dec 31, 2008

    Both MY wig and my boyfriend's wig blew right off this morning while we were walking out to get in the jag.

  • mandy picketts Dec 31, 2008

    Don't drink and drive!

  • lma1973 Dec 31, 2008

    Beware of falling tree branches this afternoon. Thats what i took from the article.