Warm Saturday but much colder by Christmas

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Christmas weekend will start off on an unseasonably warm note with high temperatures on Saturday soaring to near 70, but much colder air will arrive by Christmas Day. A strong, but slow-moving cold front will bring a chance of rain to central North Carolina Saturday evening though early Sunday morning.  Ahead of the cold front on Saturday, winds will pick up out of the southwest with gusts up to 35 mph.  Clouds will also increase with a few showers likely after 3 PM.

Showers will taper off early Sunday morning.  Cooler temperatures will take hold on Sunday for Christmas Eve with highs in the low 50s.  High pressure will build in from the west on Monday for Christmas Day and Tuesday, bringing even cooler air to the region with highs in the mid 40s under mostly sunny skies.

By the end of the week, another storm system could bring some rain showers and the possibility of some wintry precipitation.  There are a lot of uncertainties in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, but at this point, high temperatures look to fall into the upper 30s with a chance of rain and possibly a few snow showers as a wave of low pressure moves into the area.  The amount of cold air in place and warm air higher up in the atmosphere will play a huge factor in how much and what type of precipitation we see.

We will continue to watch the forecast very closely over the next several days, so be sure to check back for updates.

Saturday will be mostly cloudy and breezy with late-day showers possible, becoming much more likely after sunset.  The high will be 70Winds will be southwest around 15-20 mph in the afternoon with gusts up to 35 mph.  The rain risk is 50 percent.

Christmas Even on Sunday will be mostly cloudy with just a small chance of a lingering early-morning shower.  The high will be 52, after a morning low of 48.  The rain risk will be 10 percent.

Christmas Day on Monday will be mostly sunny and much colder.  The high will be 45; after a morning low of 33.

Tuesday will be mostly sunny and chilly.  The high will be 47, after a morning low of 27.

Wednesday will be partly cloudy and still chilly.  The high will be 43 after a morning low of 30.

Thursday will be mostly cloudy with a chance of evening rain and/or snow showers.  The high will be 38 after a morning low of 28.  The rain/snow risk will be 30 percent.

Friday will be cloudy and cold with a chance of rain and/or snow showers.  The high will be 38, after a morning low of 27.  The rain/snow risk will be 40 percent.

This forecast was prepared by the CBS North Carolina weather team and is based on the latest information available and years of weather forecasting in North Carolina. It was not produced by a computer like many forecasts you find on the web, social media and smart phone apps.

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