Warming trend to begin Friday after brief cold snap

Posted April 13, 2012 7:24 a.m. EDT
Updated April 16, 2012 6:32 a.m. EDT

— A brief return to winter-like temperatures caused many people in central North Carolina to pull out sweaters and jackets again in the last 48 hours, but warm air is on its way back to the area very soon, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. 

Thanks to a high pressure system, southwesterly winds and a shifting gulf stream, the Triangle could see temperatures in the 80s by early next week.

"We continue to see temperatures warm up, and that trend is going to continue in a big way over the next few days," Gardner said. "It will still be a bit cool Friday, but after that, the warm air is on the way. 

Friday morning temperatures were still cold across much of the area, dipping into the mid-to-upper 30s, but there were no freeze warnings issued for counties in central North Carolina.

Frost advisories were issued for Alamance, Chatham, Hoke, Lee and Orange Counties early Friday, but were expected to be canceled by 8 a.m. A frost advisory, according to the National Weather Service, means there's the potential for frost, which usually occurs with fair skies and light winds.

"We're really expecting just patchy frost in some spots," Gardner said. "Areas from Raleigh north and east may see a bit of cloud cover that will stop temperatures from falling as much as Thursday morning."

By Friday afternoon, high temperatures will top out around 70 degrees, close to average for the middle of April. 

The warming trend will continue over the weekend, with high temperatures climbing into the mid-70s Saturday and into the low-80s Sunday. By early next week, high temperatures could climb into the mid-to-upper 80s, some 15 degrees warmer than average. 

Sunshine will accompany the warm-up, with the next chance for measurable precipitation coming Wednesday.

"We've got a big area of high pressure building in," Gardner said. "That will keep us dry for the next several days and allow this warming trend to continue into next week."