Arctic air headed to NC following 'perfect' Thanksgiving

Posted November 22, 2012 9:06 a.m. EST
Updated November 22, 2012 12:02 p.m. EST

— A high pressure system hovering over eastern Tennessee will create perfect weather for central North Carolina on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, but the coldest temperatures of the season will arrive for the weekend, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. 

Abundant sunshine will help temperatures top out in the upper 50s Thursday, making Thanksgiving travel a breeze and any outdoor activities in the Triangle pleasant. 

"It's going to be very nice by this afternoon," Gardner said. "We'll see gradual warming, and even though we're running a below normal, all the sunshine will make it feel just great."

Lows will dip into the mid-30s again Friday, making blankets and hot chocolate a requirement for early-morning shoppers on Black Friday. Afternoon highs will be warm once again, topping out in the mid-60s. 

"Friday night is when we'll start to see changes, especially in our overnight lows," Gardner said. "We'll struggle to get into the 50s during the day Saturday and Sunday."

Clear skies will stay put, also helping overnight lows bottom out. The coldest air of the season will arrive Sunday morning, when much of the Triangle starts out in the upper 20s. 

"It's that time of year, so we should start getting prepared for temperatures like this," Gardner said.

Temperatures will warm slightly at the beginning of next week, and the next chance for rain arrives Tuesday.