News

Extremely cold week forecast for first week of new year

Last year’s polar plunge on Ocracoke at the airport ramp. This year’s event today (Jan. 1) will be at 2 p.m. Photo: C. Leinbach

According to reports from NOAA, the coldest week of our winter so far is upon eastern North Carolina. 

“For inland, high temperatures may not get out of the 20s inland Monday,” Erik Heden of the Morehead City National Weather Service office, said in a press release. 

Ocracoke will be a bit warmer as the weather today (Monday) will be mostly sunny, with lows in the 20s and a high near 30. A north wind around 26 mph will contribute to the wind-chill factor making it feel colder. 

According to Weather Underground, Arctic high pressure will build into the area from the northwest through Tuesday bringing the coldest temperatures of the season. 

Temperatures Tuesday are forecast in the low 20s and a high around 32. Wednesday, the temperature will rise to the mid-40 degrees, but then with another surge of Arctic air, go down into the 30s again on Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s temperatures will be back in the 20s.

The NWS service models having been showing a potential large storm in the ocean for several days now. 

While most of the storm itself will be well removed from our area, over the past 48 hours the trend has been slightly farther west which would result in our area being brushed by the far western edge of the storm. 

It is still three days out from coastal North Carolina and the disturbance that may spawn this storm is still in Western Canada, Heden said.  For now, the NWS says to be aware that with cold air in place we have the potential for some snow starting Wednesday afternoon with the most impactful period being Wednesday night.

The Happy New Year’s Day polar plunge today (Monday, Jan. 1) is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the airport ramp. Jason Wells, who set the time, posted on his Facebook page that  everyone is reminded to swim at their own risk  and he doesn’t recommend it for those that are not in good shape. Several plunges in the north have been canceled due to the extreme cold.