Wonderfully warm start to week, but it will wane

Posted March 8, 2009 7:26 p.m. EDT
Updated March 9, 2009 11:47 a.m. EDT

— Partly to mostly sunny skies and continued unseasonably warm weather take us into the workweek, though nothing that nice is likely to last long in March, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Sunday night was mild beneath a bright moon, with lows in the 50s. Monday will be partly sunny and mild, and highs will reach the upper 70s to low 80s.

There's a "but," however.

“You certainly don’t need your winter coat this morning, but we can’t say that toward the end of the week. We’ve got some more big changes ahead,” Gardner warned. “It’s March – it’s normal … for us to go back and forth, back and forth this time of year.”

The pleasant day Monday comes with a fire warning. A cold front that is sinking across the state from the northwest is bringing dry air and brisk winds that make it a good idea to postpone any burning, Gardner said.

"There is a good chance we will tie or break a warm record set back in 1974 at Raleigh/Durham International Airport," WRAL meteorologist Kim Deaner said.

The cold front will usher in cooler, but still mild, air. Evening temperatures Monday will be in the upper 40s to low 50s. Mostly cloudy and cooler weather is expected for Tuesday, with highs in the low 60s.

Wednesday morning will be chilly, but it will warm up later in the day. Temperatures could reach the mid 70s.

Colder temperatures return Thursday on the heels of the cold front and may be accompanied by some rain.