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Forecast: Chilly, then warm weekend

A cold front is headed for the Charlotte region and will bring slightly cooler temperatures for the area Wednesday.

But the big weather story for the Carolinas continues to be the warm weather expected this weekend.

“This will be only a 24- to 36-hour shot of cold air,” said Harry Gerapetritis of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C. “We’re still looking at a warming trend after that.”

Temperatures climbed into the upper 50s Tuesday afternoon in Charlotte, well above the average high of 52 degrees at this time of year. But Gerapetritis said Wednesday’s highs will be around 50 degrees, under sunny skies.

“By Thursday, high pressure will move off the coast, and we’ll be back in a southerly flow,” he said.

Forecasters expect Thursday’s highs to reach the upper 50s again, and then temperatures will climb into the middle 60s Friday.

The weekend looks even warmer, with record highs of 71 degrees for Saturday (set in 1998) and 72 degrees Sunday (set in 1889) at risk of being broken.

Another cold front is forecast to arrive late Sunday, bringing temperatures back to normal levels by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The big question is whether Sunday will turn out rainy and stormy, given the Carolina Panthers’ big home game against the New Orleans Saints.

The Weather Service’s Scott Krentz said computer models disagree over Sunday’s forecast, with one model predicting a chance of heavy rain while another model shows the rain falling to our west.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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