Craving sunshine? It'll return Saturday as cold air sets up in central NC

Posted January 1, 2016 1:07 p.m. EST

— After 10 consecutive days with highs in the 60s and 70s, central and eastern North Carolina is cooling down significantly on the first day of 2016 as a wildly different weather pattern sets up shop.

Highs Friday will be in the mid-50s, a preview of even colder weather that will arrive for the first weekend of the year.

"With all of the warm weather we've had, it's going to be very odd to see cold temperatures again," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. "If you haven't already, you'll be switching the heat back on for sure over the next few days."

While Friday will be cloudy across the bulk of the area, those ready to see the sun shine will get their wish on Saturday.

"If you're craving Vitamin D, be ready for the weekend, because it's going to be very bright," Maze said. "A disturbance will swing through overnight to finally blow out all the remaining clouds."

Despite the sun, highs Saturday and Sunday will be in the low 50s, about normal for the first week of January.

Overnight lows will return to normal levels, too, dropping into the low 30s both days of the weekend.

"Another front will push through on Monday, and it will deliver arctic air to the region," Maze said.

The result will be daytime highs in the 40s Monday and possibly upper 30s on Tuesday. Overnight lows will be in the 20s both nights.

Sunshine will continue to be a dominant part of the forecast through the bulk of next week, with the next chance for rain likely not coming until Friday at the earliest, Maze said.