36 NC counties are under alert, including Wake, Cumberland, Durham, Johnston, and Orange counties. Details
Published: 2014-04-05 08:55:00
Updated: 2014-04-05 14:03:41
Posted April 5, 2014 8:55 a.m. EDT
Updated April 5, 2014 2:03 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Cooler, drier air has arrived in central and eastern North Carolina behind a passing cold front, and abundant sunshine will dominate the forecast on the first day of the weekend.
Temperatures climbed to about 70 degrees just after lunchtime Saturday, right about normal for early April.
"We've cleared out behind the cold front that pushed through overnight, and high pressure is building in from the west," he said. "We'll have a northwesterly wind behind it, and that cooler air is filtering in. It's going to be a beautiful day across the Triangle."
Overnight lows will dip into the 40s across much of the area, and more clouds will arrive on Sunday as the front that pushed through the region stalls in South Carolina. Highs on the final day of the weekend will top out in the mid-60s.
The same front and another approaching system will generate rainfall and possibly thunderstorms across the state on Monday, Moss said.
"We'll be in the mid-60s Monday, and it will be rainy off and on all day," he said. "We could see up to 1 inch of precipitation across central North Carolina, and we have an outside chance of strong to severe thunderstorms during the evening."
Sunshine will return Tuesday, and temperatures will hover in the upper 60s to near 70 degrees for the last half of the work week.
Pollen counts pick up thanks to warmer weather
Thanks to the consistently warmer air across the region, pollen counts have increased markedly over the last week to 10 days, according to the state Division of Air Quality.
"Weed pollen counts and grass pollen counts are at moderate levels, but tree pollen counts are high to extreme," Moss said. "Pine trees have started to chip in, and when that gets going you will see the yellow-green coating on everything."
The peak of pine pollen season usually lasts about two to four weeks, depending on how much rain falls during the late winter and early spring, Moss said.