March 11, 2014

Charlotte’s next 5 days: Summer, spring, winter

As is typical with spring in the Carolinas, the weather will change rapidly for the rest of this week.

The Carolinas will get three seasons in just a few days this week, thanks to a continuation of a winter weather pattern that has been anything but consistent.

Tuesday was a T-shirt and shorts day in Charlotte, as sunshine and southerly breezes sent temperatures soaring toward 80 degrees and made last week’s winter storm just a memory.

Wednesday will be more like spring, with showers and thunderstorms and temperatures reaching about 70 degrees.

And then it’ll be back to winter, as a cold front send the thermometer nose-diving into the upper 20s early Thursday morning. Afternoon highs aren’t expected to climb above the mid 40s.

But the changes won’t be finished. We’ll be back in the upper 50s Friday and the 60s Saturday.

While the winter of 2013-14 has been memorable in the North for its cold and snow, it has been wildly inconsistent in the Carolinas.

This week will mark at least the fifth time since late January that Charlotte’s temperatures went on a roller-coaster ride. On Jan. 27, for example, the daily high was 64 degrees. The next day, the high was 38 and about an inch of snow fell.

Weather across the Carolinas was beautiful Tuesday. In Charlotte, the temperature was in the mid 70s at mid-afternoon, and a number of reporting stations across the two states were in the 80s.

At Lexington, where about 90 percent of residents lost power Friday in an ice storm, it was 78 degrees at 2 p.m.

The agent of change is a storm system and cold front that is forecast to cross the Carolinas later Wednesday.

Showers are expected to arrive before daybreak, continuing through the day with a few thunderstorms thrown in. Winds are expected to gust to near 30 mph during the day.

The cold front’s arrival later in the day will send temperatures plunging. By Thursday morning, readings in Charlotte could be in the upper 20s – about 30 degrees colder than Wednesday morning.

Rain on Wednesday afternoon is forecast to change to snow in the mountains, and National Weather Service meteorologists say 1 to 2 inches could accumulate in areas above 3,000 feet.

The weekend forecast is a bit murky. The computer models indicate some rain is likely, especially Sunday and Monday, but the models can’t agree on the timing or amount of precipitation. Temperatures will reach the lower to mid 60s on Saturday and Sunday, however.

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