Cool temperatures will linger throughout weekend

Posted March 1, 2013 6:54 a.m. EST

— Cooler temperatures that arrived Thursday will linger in central and eastern North Carolina for much of the next week, with daytime highs staying well below average for early March.

A stationary upper level low will keep the weather pattern stagnant in the Triangle through Thursday, WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth said.

Friday's forecast calls for a high around 50 degrees. Skies will be sunny early in the day, but clouds will build from the south in the late morning and afternoon. 

"We've already got some clouds to our south and we'll see those filter into the Raleigh area during the day," Wilmoth said. "All in all, we'll see more clouds than sun."

Those temperatures remain about the same for the next five days, fluctuating by only a few degrees. Average high temperatures for the first week of March are closer to 60 degrees. 

Although the first official day of spring is still three weeks away, Friday is the start of what scientists call the meteorological spring.

The term is supposed to signify a noticeable change in the weather as the harshest 90 days of winter come to an end.

Spring officially starts March 20, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Although it’s not yet sandal-wearing weather, it seems unlikely that the Triangle will see any more serious snow.

“There could be a few flurries Friday evening,” WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. “We’re looking at the potential for a little bit of snow Saturday night, but it wouldn’t be enough for any accumulations.”

A system moving east over the Pacific Ocean off the western U.S. coast could bring some snow to our region next Wednesday, but it is too early to tell what effect, if any, it will have on North Carolina

There’s more good weather news: The Triangle this week has moved out of the “moderate drought” category into “abnormally dry.”

Gardner said February’s excessive rainfall is the reason. Slightly more than 4 inches of precipitation has fallen during the past month. It has rained 14 out of the last 28 days.

Lee and Moore counties remain under moderate drought.