North Carolina could get its first real taste of winter this weekend, with temperatures expected to plummet to below freezing just days after highs in the upper 70s.
Snow might even be possible in some areas.
The National Weather Service’s Raleigh office tweeted on Wednesday that colder temperatures are on the way.
“ALERT Warm Weather Lovers: Today’s highs in the lower to mid 70s will be the warmest weather we will likely see for some time. Highs will only be in the lower to mid 50s over the weekend. The 6 to 10 day outlook supports below normal temperatures well into next week,” the weather service said.
Forecasts for ski resorts in the North Carolina mountains show a possibility for up an inch to 3 inches of snow over the weekend and into Monday.
As much as an inch of new snowfall is expected over the weekend at Sapphire Valley, Sugar Mountain and Wolf Ridge. Beech Mountain Resort could see as much as 3 inches. Temperatures could reach as low as 16 degrees, according to the forecast.
WLOS reported that rain across the area will likely switch to snow in the mountains early next week.
While the snow forecasts so far are relegated to higher elevations, it has snowed this early in central North Carolina in the past.
Data from the National Weather Service in Raleigh shows that on Nov. 6, 1953, about 0.6 inches of snow fell at Raleigh-Durham International Airport – the earliest recorded accumulating snowfall on record for the area.
“The cold weather really drops in (this weekend),” ABC11 meteorologist Don Schwenneker said during his forecast on Wednesday. “Sunday morning we’re down around freezing. I think it will be a hard freeze, it’ll be a killing freeze for any plants that you’ve got outside. The long-range forecast is hinting that we’ll go possibly 40s for highs by the middle part of next week.”
The weather service also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for most of central North Carolina.
“The first freeze of the fall season is probable Saturday night across a large part of central NC. Overnight temperatures Saturday night are expected to drop below freezing over the Piedmont and the northern Coastal Plain, and bottom out close to freezing across the Sandhills and southern Coastal Plain,” the weather service said.
Temperatures along the coast, in western North Carolina (except the higher reaches of the mountains) and into South Carolina may not drop as far, the weather service said, though the cold high pressure building in the area over the weekend could lead to freezing temperatures in eastern North Carolina in counties including Pitt, Beaufort, Dare, Jones, Onslow, Lenoir and Craven.