Skies clear, Friday stays cool

Posted April 5, 2012 9:25 p.m. EDT
Updated April 6, 2012 3:36 p.m. EDT

— Temperatures in the Triangle took a tumble Thursday, and Friday was the coolest day in weeks. Even as early morning clouds cleared out and sunshine took over, "It's not as warm as it looks," WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson warned.

The forecast high is 61 degrees with a persistent breeze through Friday afternoon.

Overnight, temperatures will dip toward the freezing mark. A frost advisory was in effect until 10 a.m. Saturday for most of the state. "We'll see a good spot of frost," Johnson said. "The clear skies will also help those temperatures fall tonight." 

For farmers who have been seeing earlier-than-normal spring harvests because of warmer-than-normal weather, a late frost is always a worry.

At Ball’s Berries and Produce in Wake County, the strawberry plants are twice as full as they usually are at this time of year. "I never sold strawberries on Easter before, but we are going to have them this year," said Roger Ball. 

For horticulturist Barclay Poling, the brief, forecast chill comes as no surprise. "Here we are, Easter weekend, we are going to have another frost in North Carolina," he said.

"This is a very doable, manageable frost this weekend," Poling said, noting that farmers can use crop covers or spray crops to keep a light frost from damaging crops.

Poling said strawberries are more hardy than many people may think. All that fruit in the field will be just fine, he said.

Temperatures warm quickly back into the 70s by Saturday afternoon in a return to the early warm weather that promises a great year for farmers like Ball.