Temperatures to tumble across North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA - The coldest air of the fall season is headed our way for this afternoon as the Arctic cold front crosses.

The morning will be the nicest part of the day with sunshine and comfortably cool temperatures. But by noon the front will be crossing our area. Cold air will blast in behind the front switching our winds from light southwesterly this morning to gusty northerly.

As the cold air slams in it will cause clouds to form. By early evening these clouds could develop a spotty shower or even a flurry. However with this being a dry Canadian air mass it won't be able to hold much moisture, so I don't expect much shower action from this front.

By midnight the clouds will be moving off the coast but the gusty winds will remain. As a result a Wind Advisory will be in effect for Carteret County as well as the Outer Banks from 4 PM this afternoon through 1 PM Wednesday as winds could top 45 mph during this time. The strong northerly wind will also push water into the southern part of Pamlico Sound causing water levels to rise 2 to 3 feet above normal, especially around high tide. For this reason a Coastal Flood Advisory is also issued for Carteret County and the southern Outer Banks.

Temperatures will plummet below freezing for the next couple nights, even along the coast. For this reason the National Weather Service has also issued a Freeze Warning for areas east of Highway 17 that so far this season have not been below freezing.

As the polar high pressure slides in over us on Wednesday, we'll see plenty of sunshine and the winds will decrease by afternoon. However temperatures will be some 20 degrees below normal for November standards. In fact we could challenge record cold high temperatures for tomorrow's date as highs will be only in the mid-40s. But with the wind still up during the morning hours wind chills will be in the teens and 20s!

The coldest morning will be on Thursday with the polar high pressure directly over us. Clear skies and light winds will drop temperatures into the low 20s away from water and again below freezing near the coast.

Temperatures moderate for the end of the week as our winds become southwesterly and we return to near normal. But the trade-off will be that we will have more clouds around that could also give a scattered shower from time to time.

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A cold front approaching North Carolina is about to give the state an early dose of winter.

The National Weather Service said an arctic cold front will descend on the state Tuesday, leading to gusty winds and falling temperatures.

Combined with an upper level disturbance coming from the west, there is a chance that rain will change to snow before the precipitation ends Tuesday night.

Forecasters say if there is a changeover, there will be very little accumulation because temperatures will stay above freezing and the precipitation won't last very long.

What few snowflakes may fall are expected anywhere between northeastern counties and part of the North Carolina Piedmont.

Once the front passes, highs Wednesday will linger in the 40s.

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