Chilly winter solstice sets example for Christmas Day

Posted December 21, 2017 8:43 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 11:19 a.m. EDT

— Thursday will be appropriately chilly for the first day of winter, and after a warmer weekend, cold temperatures will arrive again just in time for Christmas Day.

On Dec. 21, known as the winter solstice, the northern hemisphere is farthest from the sun, making it the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year. According to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner, the sun rose at 7:21, and it will set at 5:05.

"It's a chilly but beautiful first day of winter, and the bright skies will stay with us all day," said Gardner. "Temperatures will be in the low 50s on Thursday versus the 70s we saw on Wednesday, so it will feel a lot cooler."

Current Temperatures, DMA

According to Gardner, Friday will be a bit warmer with a high of 59 degrees and a mix of sunshine and showers.

Saturday will be very warm, with a high of 70 degrees, and Sunday will be mild as well with some scattered showers. Raleigh won't be seeing a white Christmas this year, but at least the temperatures will drop on Monday, making for a chilly Christmas Day.

According to Gardner, a batch of snow in the west may move in to the North Carolina mountains early Christmas Day around 2 a.m., but it will only stick around for a few hours.

7-Day Forecast

"Christmas will have a high of 45 degrees and plenty of sunshine," said Gardner. By Monday morning, any rain seen on Christmas Eve should be gone.