Beautiful, sunny Sunday on tap before mid-week cooldown

Early morning cloud cover and drizzle lifted out of the Triangle and northeast counties to make way for a beautiful Sunday afternoon, said WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Early morning cloud cover and drizzle lifted out of the Triangle and northeast counties Sunday morning to make way for a beautiful, sunny afternoon, said WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson.

The mercury had climbed to 56 degrees in Raleigh and 53 in Fayetteville by 7 a.m., which was warmer than Saturday's start. 

"In addition to the warm temperature, a little patchy fog, a few spits of rain or drizzle showing up mainly to the north and east of the Triangle," Johnson said. 

Temperatures are expected to rise to the upper 60s by noon and top out around 72 degrees. 

The warming trend continues Monday before a cold front brings more seasonal temperatures by mid-week.

"Tomorrow could be record-breaking for some. I think we're going to stay below our record high of 81 degrees for tomorrow afternoon, but Monday is going to be very breezy and warm," Johnson said.

A cold front will change things up on Tuesday when highs won't get out of the 50s. Wednesday will stay fairly cool, with a high of 55, before dipping to about 50 degrees on Thursday.

"(The warm weather) comes crashing to an end Tuesday as a cold front moves in to the area and that cooler air will settle in across North Carolina for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday," Johnson said.

The front could bring some rain, which WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner says is desperately needed.

"We need any rain we can get," Gardner said Friday. "We've been abnormally dry, and on Thursday parts of our viewing area were placed under a moderate drought. We saw very little rain the entire month of November."

Sixty-five of North Carolina's 100 counties are now in moderate drought, with the central part of the state, including the Triad and western parts of the Triangle, seeing the driest conditions. 

Eleven counties have been added to the moderate drought category since last week, and 16 others are abnormally dry for early December.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, total precipitation for November was .56 inches, 2.56 inches below normal and much drier than last year, which featured precipitation just a bit above normal for the month.

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