Saturday may be the first day of winter, but National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Ellis says it’s going to feel more like the first day of spring.
“We’re looking for temperatures to rise into the 70s–and maybe well into the 70s–by the end of the weekend,” he says.
The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 72 on Saturday, with temperatures climbing to 76 on Sunday.
If that forecast holds, it would be a record high both days.
“Record highs for the Raleigh-Durham airport on the 21st are 71 degrees, set in 1967,” Ellis says. “For the 22nd, (the record is) 75 degrees, also set in 1967.”
Ellis says the normal temperature for this time of year is in the lower 50s.
The warm weather may come with rain: Ellis says there’s a chance of rain and possible thunderstorms on Sunday, especially if you’re east of I-95. After that, he says, temperatures should drop back down to normal—or even below normal—by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
“We’ll see high temperatures only in the middle 40s for Christmas Eve,” he says. “Christmas Eve night, (we’re) looking at the upper 20s here in the Triangle.
“Then for Christmas Day, (it’ll be) nice and dry, but still only 48 degrees for the high, with a low Christmas night of 33.”
But Ellis says we’ll see clear skies on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so driving conditions will be good—and Santa Claus shouldn’t have any visibility problems in the skies.
“At least not in this area,” he says.