Weather to turn frigid by Friday

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WILMINGTON — The National Weather Service in Wilmington is saying a cold front Tuesday will open the door to an increasingly cold and wet pattern the remainder of the week into Saturday before a drying trend begins Sunday.

Frigidly cold air will close the weekend out with widespread 20s Monday morning. Another cold front next Tuesday may bring a reinforcement of cold air.

Tuesday will be nothing less than a perfect day — for those who get to stay inside. A cold front will sweep across the area this morning leaving cloudy, rainy, and increasingly cold conditions across the area.

Satellite and radar imagery tells the story of an area of showers ahead of a cold front that was encroaching on the I-95 corridor at 10 a.m. Tuesday, with the surface boundary lagging just a bit behind that. Well aloft, the latest imagery shows a pronounced moisture tap feeding into the Carolinas which can be traced all the way back into the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Also clearly evident is a deep cyclone across the southern Hudson Bay of Canada, around which a mid-level trough is digging into the eastern U.S. These features together will create a cloud and unsettled day, with temperatures dropping through the period.

Ahead of this cold front, showers will continue to advance east into a warm and moist airmass. Latest forecast profiles suggest measurable rainfall climbing to near 1.6 inches by Wednesday’s daybreak, supporting the persistence of the showers ahead of the front. Once the front pushes offshore, which is expected to occur before noon, winds will abruptly shift to the north as high pressure expands from the Midwest.

Late in the week, accumulating rain totals for both Thursday and Friday are expected between 1-2 inches. Highs Thursday won’t reach 50 in most spots and will turn colder Friday. Temperatures in the low to middle 30s over the interior of soutyeastern N.C. late Friday night may result in a rain-sleet-snow mix, nut no accumulations are expected at this time.

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