EASTERN N.C. -

The fantastic weekend weather is pushing off the coast as a cold front works through western North Carolina Monday morning. 

Southwesterly winds ahead of this front will push our temperatures into the upper 70s and lower 80s.  It will also bring higher dew point air in with it.  This along with some filtered sunshine, early in the day, will set the stage for potentially strong storms this afternoon. 

We are alerting you to the threat of damaging wind gusts, heavy downpours and lightning.  These storms will move east of I-95 by 4p.m. and will head off the coast by midnight. 

Another cool Canadian high pressure will slide in behind this front and be in control of our weather through the middle of the week. 

Clouds will quickly clear by tonight.  Highs will only reach upper 60s and low 70s for the middle of the week. 

In the tropics, Rafael could gain hurricane status later today as it moves north out of the Bahamas towards Bermuda.  It will pass east of Bermuda by Wednesday but some of the higher swells from Rafael could increase our rip current threat along the Crystal Coast Beaches.  Seas will also be in excess of 4-6 feet at this time. 

Make sure to follow StormTrack 12 meteorologists for the latest alerts for potentially severe weather in Eastern North Carolina.