Shorts weather in February? Triangle sets record high

Posted February 18, 2011 12:27 p.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2011 8:55 p.m. EST

— Unseasonably warm weather spread across the Southeast on Friday, sending Triangle residents outside in shorts and T-shirts for the first time in months.

Temperatures reached 78 degrees at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, topping the record high for Feb. 18 of 75 degrees.

“We’re going to see temperatures back off a little bit this weekend, but still this is a kind of pattern where that, even behind the cold fronts, the temperatures are still above normal,” WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. “So, it’s certainly not going to be a bad weekend at all.”

Afternoon temperatures elsewhere across the state were also unseasonably warm, ranging anywhere from 4 degrees to 13 degrees higher than Thursday.

Cooler and drier air was expected to move through the state Friday night and over the weekend.

Forecast maps, however, indicate milder temperatures as the workweek starts out with a forecast high in the mid-70s and then slightly cooler temperatures Tuesday and into Wednesday and then warming up later in the week.

“The basic pattern is that the really cold arctic air stays bottled up to the north of us – across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast – and we just get glancing blows of this stuff every two or three days,” Fishel said.

“It looks like, overall, the temperature pattern is going to be very easy to take around these parts over the next five to seven days,” he added.