'Roller coaster' weather continues Wednesday as front arrives

Posted December 5, 2012 6:41 a.m. EST
Updated December 5, 2012 12:27 p.m. EST

— Continuing the back-and-forth pattern of the last week, big weather changes are on the way for the Triangle Wednesday as a massive cold front that extends from Maine to the Gulf Coast moves across central North Carolina. 

The front won't likely drop much rain as it cruises by, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said, but it will set the stage for a big temperatures drop to close out the work week.

"Let's not rule out a shower anywhere across the area, but we're not expecting this cold front to be a substantial rain-maker," she said. "You will notice big changes in terms our winds and high temperatures."

After highs top out in the mid-60s around lunchtime, temperatures will begin to fall throughout the afternoon, plummeting back into the mid-30s by early Thursday. Northeast winds will help speed up the change, bringing cold air into the area from the north and west. 

On Thursday, high temperatures will struggle to crack the 50-degree mark under partly cloudy skies, staying below normal just two 48 hours after Tuesday's highs topped out in the low 70s. 

"All the cold air is just going to come rushing in behind the front," Gardner said. "Our normal high for this time of year is 56, so by the end of the week we will have covered the gamut in terms of temperatures."

And just as quickly as that cold air arrives Thursday, the warm air will be back in place over the weekend. Temperatures could climb into the 70s again both Saturday and Sunday.