N.C. in for a long chill

Posted January 2, 2010 6:41 a.m. EST
Updated January 2, 2010 11:45 p.m. EST

— North Carolina started the weekend with temperatures in the mid 20s early Saturday, and warmth won't return any time soon.

"It is cold out there ... and it's only going to be colder for the next several days," WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said. "In fact, even during the daytime, it's going to be cold."

The Jet Stream is dipping down far to the south, pumping cold, northern air down into North Carolina. Those conditions will continue into next week.

This weekend, the high temperature will hang around freezing on both Saturday and Sunday, and the mercury will plummet into the teens during the night.

On Saturday, North Carolinians dealt with strong, northwesterly winds gusting between 25 and 30 mph. Those winds made it feel like it was in the teens and lower 20s during the day and in the single digits overnight.

"It's the wind that's really going to make it into that bone-chilling cold," WRAL meteorologist Kim Deaner said.

The winds will taper off Sunday, so it won't feel as cold, Deaner added.

Prepare yourself, pets and home for cold weather.

Cold weather shelters in Wake County

The start of the work week won't bring any relief from the cold. The pattern of highs in the upper 30s or low 40s and lows in the low to mid 20s looks set to continue.

"Every day, we stay 10 or 15 degrees below normal ... right through the seven-day forecast," Moss said. "An extended period of cold is what we're concerned with."

The National Weather Service says that this could become North Carolina's worst and longest cold snap since January 1977.