Fishel: It'll get cold, stay cold; flakes could fly Friday

Posted December 4, 2017 5:25 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 2:06 p.m. EDT

— Monday was a "pretty, pretty day" with high temperatures in the 60s and widespread sunshine across central North Carolina, but it may be the last of its kind for quite some time.

"The big story is the turn to cold," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. "It's going to get cold and stay cold. That cold ain't going anywhere soon."

A midweek cold front will bring rain, and the chance for frozen precipitation moves in on Friday.

Tuesday will still be warm, even warmer than Monday, Fishel said, but it won't be quite as nice.

The Triangle could see a stray shower or two during the morning commute, and then some light showers are likely Tuesday night when a cold front moves in.

High temperatures will only reach into the 40s and lows into the 20s once the front has past, and the chill will stick around through the middle of next week.

"We're going to have some cold air move in with that front for Wednesday morning," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

About a half to a three-quarters of an inch of rain could accumulate before sunrise on Wednesday, and even colder air will follow for Thursday. The overnight low will dip into the 30s, and the daytime high will be only about 50 degrees as winds out of Canada dip all the way into North Carolina.

Wintry mix for Friday afternoon?

The mixture of that cold wind with a low pressure area off the Carolina coast creates the opportunity for any rain to turn a wintry mix, although it's too soon to forecast with any certainty, Fishel said.

Anything that does fall has little chance of accumulation, according to Gardner.

Temperatures through the work week, while cooler than they have been yet this fall, will not reach the freezing mark at any point before Friday. Computer models have that wintry mix developing Friday afternoon, during the warmest part of the day.

"At that point, the ground temperature will be too warm for the precipitation to cause any travel problems," Gardner said.

Cold front coming Wednesday a balmy weekend

Once the threat of frozen precipitation is past, the bitter cold sticks around into early next week and possibly beyond, Gardner said.

"We will continue to see that cold air dig in from the north. That will keep things very cold for the coming weekend," she said.

Saturday and Sunday's forecasts call for some sun and high temperatures in the 40s.