Winter is coming: Cold to settle in behind powerful system

Posted November 12, 2014 5:35 a.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2014 9:21 a.m. EST

7-Day Forecast

— Temperatures will be above normal Wednesday across central and eastern North Carolina, but major changes are headed toward the area as arctic air associated with a powerful storm system spreads across the country.

Daytime highs could reach the low- to mid-70s in some parts of the Triangle, about 5 to 10 degrees above normal for mid-November, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

"Get outside and enjoy the warm air and sunshine, because it's the last time we will have temperatures this nice for at least a week," she said. "We've got big, big changes coming."

Overnight lows will dip into the 40s early Thursday, and as the system moves through, daytime highs will struggle to reach the mid-50s.

By Friday, the real cold will arrive.

Highs over the weekend will stay in the low- to mid-40s, and overnight temperatures will dip into the upper 20s across the area. The normal lows for mid-November in the Raleigh area are the low 40s.

"This cold air mass is just going to slow down and park itself over our area until Monday and even beyond," Gardner said. "That seesaw won't tip us back to warm anytime soon."

The system producing the arctic blast hit Alaska with hurricane-force winds over the weekend, and it has dumped 3 feet of snow in some places. Temperatures dropped up to 50 degrees in a day in some parts of the Upper Midwest.