"I feel like our forecast for Friday is an April Fools joke," Gardner said.
"It's hotter here than it is in Tampa," she said at noon Thursday, when it was about 79 degrees in Raleigh.
The mercury will rise to the mid 80s Thursday, then flirt with the record high of 90 degrees on Friday. The day's high, though, will likely stay a couple degrees shy of that mark.
Meanwhile, the skies will stay clear, filled only with a few passing clouds.
The same weather will prevail over Easter weekend: highs in the low to mid 80s, overnight lows in the 50s. Clouds will be thicker on Easter Sunday, but it will stay dry. The humidity will be low.
Those heading to the beach for the long weekend will likely see lower temperatures, due to the moderating influence of the ocean.
"It's tough to complain about the weather we're going to see over the next few days," Gardner said.
"It's going to be a great time to spend some time outside," she continued, "heading to the park, throwing the ball or Frisbee with the dog, a little golf game if you have time or just anything, just sitting on the park bench hanging out."