Hot spell could end with a bang

Posted April 8, 2010 8:58 a.m. EDT
Updated April 8, 2010 6:22 p.m. EDT

— A hot spell that has spawned summer-like temperatures and record levels of pollen will come to an end by Friday, WRAL forecasters predicted.

A cold front will cross North Carolina, lower temperatures and create some showers and rain Thursday.

"We've seen the upper end of the thermometer kind of crowded the past couple days," WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said. "It’s still going to be hot out there – not as hot as it’s been these late couple of days – because we’ll bring more cloud cover in and more wind. And we’ll get even cooler than that after today."

On Thursday, temperatures will hit 81 degrees before dropping into the 70s in the late afternoon. Gusty winds will blow between 25 and 35 mph.

In the late afternoon, the chance of rain and storms begins and grows stronger overnight.

"The front moving in late today and late tonight will lead to at least a slight risk ... of some strong or severe thunderstorms," Moss said. "One or two of those could produce some damaging wind bursts or perhaps some hail. There's a very, very small chance of tornadoes."

Between a half-inch and 1½ inches of rain could fall.

If that amount of rain falls, it could offer relief to allergy sufferers. "We might see enough rain to wash away some of the pollen," Moss said.

Storms and showers will die off by Friday morning. The day will stay cloudy and see a high around 65 degrees.

Over the weekend, the sun will return, and temperatures will rise slightly but stay in the upper 60s and low 70s.

North Carolina normally sees a daily high around 70 and a low around 40 degrees this time of year.