Triangle residents enjoying warmer temperatures while out shopping for gifts may want to bundle up this weekend, because the first shot of wintery weather is headed to the Triangle.
The National Weather Service says temperatures will drop into the 20s Thursday night, and are expected to remain colder than normal through Saturday.
“It’s going to feel a lot more like the holidays,” said Mike Strickler, a weather service meteorologist in Raleigh.
The weather is due to a strong Arctic cold front that’s pushing down from Canada and is expected to move through the area, Strickler said.
“The front is actually coming through the Triangle right now,” he said.
On Thursday, there is a chance of light precipitation, but it won’t amount to more than a few misty drops on the windshields, he said. Highs will reach 55, and northwest winds are expected to blow at about 10 mph with gusts as high as 21 mph.
By Thursday evening, lows should drop into the mid 20s, and northwest winds will blow near 10 mph, Strickler said.
The temperatures over the weekend will be colder – about 10 to 15 degrees below normal – but they won’t break any records, he said.
Over the weekend, highs will hover in the low 40s, but skies will remain clear.
Friday will be a sunny day with highs in the low 40s. Overnight, temperatures will drop into the low 20s, and in some places even lower, Strickler said.
“There will likely be some upper teens in a few areas on Saturday morning,” he said.
Forecasts call for a sunny day Saturday with highs in the low 40s, and lows in the mid to low 20s.
More normal temperatures are expected to return early for the work week, but the Triangle could be headed for another chill by next weekend, Strickler said.
“There’s another cold front and an Arctic high that’s poised to spill down into much of the central and eastern United States mid to late next week,” he said. “That could set the stage for potentially some winter weather.”
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCiofffi