EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA -

We set record low temperatures all over eastern North Carolina last night and it will get even colder tonight so expect more records to fall. Today we set new record LOW high temperatures across all of the east as well (that means we had the coldest ever high temperature for this date). Our lows were in the middle teens last night and highs were in the middle 20s today.

Tonight with clear skies and less wind (wind mixes the atmosphere and makes it hard for heat saved in the surface of the Earth to rise up through the wind and radiate away from the ground…..called radiational cooling) and that means very good conditions to get even colder than last night. I am forecasting low temperatures of 10-14 on the mainland, 14-18 on the rivers and sounds of the inner banks and 18-22 along the beaches.

Wednesday should be mostly sunny but there will be a few high clouds sliding across the sun especially the closer to the coast that you go. It will be another cold day, but not as cold as today. We should see high temperatures of 38-42 (normal high is 54).

Wednesday evening starts off clear but then some clouds roll in late night. It will be another very cold night with mainland low temps of 18-22 and 22-26 along the coast.

Thursday will start with some sunshine but as the day goes along clouds will roll in and then thicken up making us mostly cloudy by the afternoon and even the chance for a few stray showers by late afternoon. The chance for rain is only 20%. High temperatures will be milder as I am forecasting around 50 degrees,

Temperatures will get much warmer as we move through Friday and the weekend, but rain chances will increase on Friday and rain become likely for Saturday with scattered showers lingering through Sunday and Monday. We should be in the upper 60s on Saturday, 70 on Sunday and 72 on Monday.

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The coldest air that we have seen in the past two decades has arrived in Eastern Carolina. This arctic blast is cold enough to cause problems for your health and safety.

Temperatures this morning have dropped to near 12 to 16 degrees on the mainland, 16 to 20 degrees on the inner banks rivers and sounds, and 20 to 22 on the outer banks beaches. That’s plenty cold, but factor in a northwest wind at 15 to 25 mph and gusting to 35 mph and you are talking about wind chill values of zero to -5 degrees. Just 30 minutes of exposed skin (hands without gloves, ears without ear muffs, heads without a cap or toboggan) and you are talking frostbite! The National Weather Service issued a Wind Chill Advisory, which lasted until 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Another problem will be the wind picking up “spray” from the rivers, sounds and ocean. That spray will then condense and freeze on bridges and vehicles and buildings, so there could be some patches of ice around late Monday night and Tuesday for places that are close to large bodies of water.

High temperatures on Tuesday will only make it to 24 to 28 degrees for most of us, and then Tuesday night, we are back down into the lower teens for lows. That means that once we go below freezing Monday evening, we will not be back above freezing until the middle of the day on Wednesday!

Since it will be so cold, frozen pipes will be a concern. At this point in time, there isn’t much left you can do other than making sure that the cabinet doors are open so that heat can get to the actual pipe or leaving a trickle of water running.

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We started off Monday morning with temperatures into the mid to upper 60s. But the temperatures are set to plunge into the 40s by sunset.  

A cold Arctic high pressure is expected to settle in by Tuesday night, and as it does, we will see some of the coldest temperatures we've seen in the last 10 to 20 years.

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The combination of strong-gusty winds and record-cold temperatures will create wind chills near zero degree by Tuesday morning. As a result, a Wind Chill Advisory will be in effect for all of Eastern Carolina by 3 a.m. Tuesday. The advisory is expected to last until 10 a.m. Tuesday.

In spite of sunshine and decreasing wind Tuesday, we will set record-low high temperatures. 

Arctic high pressure will be in control of our weather through the middle of this week. This pattern could bring us record-setting cold for daytime highs and also for overnight lows. The last time we stayed below freezing for a daytime high temperature was on Jan. 22, 2011.

Taking a look back at the record books, on Jan. 16, 2009 and Jan. 18, 2005, we saw highs that only topped out at 29 degrees. We will be in record territory for the early part of this week.

Temperatures are expected to moderate for the weekend.

StormTrack 12 meteorologists will have updates directly from the StormTrack 12 Weather Center.

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