There’s a cold snap in the air this evening, and you can expect it to remain throughout most of the week.

Here’s Meteorologist Mike Moneypenny of the National Weather Service in Raleigh:

“We have a cold front that is coming out of the mountains of North Carolina as we speak this afternoon, and looking for a round of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and on into this evening as that front comes though.”

Expect much cooler air to come behind that. Temperatures will fall into the 30s, and a freeze warning will be in effect late tonight and into the morning for most of the Piedmont and Foothills of North Carolina.

The unwelcome chilly trend continues tomorrow.

“Temperatures will be running, probably near 20 degrees below normal – high temperatures reaching low-to-mid-50s,” says Moneypenny. “And then the cold continues with perhaps even cooler temperatures Thursday morning, with some areas probably dipping down into the upper 20s, and a freeze warning will probably be issued tomorrow for that.”

There is some sunlight at the end of the tunnel. A slow warmup will start into the weekend. The National Weather Service projects high temperatures on Saturday and Sunday in the low-to-mid 70s.

For now, though: If you have any tender crops or flower beds outside, you’re advised to cover them up.