Weekend will be cold, but likely dry

Posted February 20, 2009 6:13 a.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2009 3:49 p.m. EST

— Wintry temperatures will take hold late this weekend, but the chance of snowfall on Sunday is looking "less and less likely," WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said Friday.

A cold front will pass through North Carolina early Sunday, but it won't have a lot of moisture with it. Any precipitation it produces should be brief.

"All computer models are in good agreement that this is going to be a non-event," Gardner said, adding that any substantial snowfall will be "well back into the mountains."

After midnight Saturday, a few flakes mixed with light rain could fall through mid-morning. Counties near the Virginia border will have the best shot at a brief change-over to a few flurries.

"It won't be enough to cause any accumulation. It's just not going to be a big deal for us," Gardner said.

The forecast is so dry that the N.C. Division of Forest Resources issued a warning against outdoor burning for Sunday. The National Weather Service said Friday that a fire weather watch may be necessary for parts of the Triangle, Triad and Sandhills.

Forecasters noted the possibility of wildfires due to strong, gusty northwest winds combined with unusually low humidity.

Before the cold front arrives, Saturday will see a slight warm-up, reaching a high in the mid 50s.

"The warmth that's off to our west arrives tomorrow (Saturday). And as soon as it comes in, it goes right back out," Gardner said.

Chilly air will linger after the cold front passes through Sunday, making for a cold start to next week. Temperatures will drop into the low 20s overnight and struggle to get into the high 40s through Wednesday.

"Winter is hanging on," Gardner said.