Clear, windy afternoon to follow wet, cloudy morning

Posted February 22, 2009 6:17 a.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2009 3:54 p.m. EST

— A sunny, windy afternoon followed a cloudy, rainy Sunday morning that ended without many snowflakes falling in central North Carolina.

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A cold front quickly passed across the state in the morning, bringing light rain with it. But the question was whether the moisture would stay around long enough for the cold to catch up with it.

"There's cold air rolling in, but drier air coming in at the same time," WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said. "Do you get a few flurries and snow showers at the end, or is most of the moisture gone by the time the cold air is here?

The chance of wintry precipitation, though, ended in the late morning, and by early afternoon, the clouds gave away to sun.

Increasingly blustery winds could reach sustained speeds up to 20 mph and create gusts of up to 30 mph are possible.

Along with low relative humidity, those winds will heighten the risk of fires Sunday afternoon and evening. Combustibles such as dry grass, pine needles and twigs will dry out quickly, and people should be careful using machinery, cigarettes or matches outdoors.

Temperatures on the cold side of normal will settle in Sunday to stay for the first part of the new week. Through Tuesday, highs won't exceed the upper 40s, and temperatures will plummet into the low 20s overnight.