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Charlotte sets new record high Friday

Friday's afternoon high set the old record of 75 degrees that was set in 1998.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte set a new record high on Friday. The Queen City hit 76 degrees by 1 p.m., breaking the old record of 75 degrees that was set in 1998. By 2 p.m., the temperature was up to 77 degrees. Ultimately, Charlotte got all the way up to 78 degrees.

Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich said Charlotte's off to one of the warmest Decembers in history. The warmest December temperature ever recorded was 80 degrees in 2007, according to Panovich. 

Friday's record high was also the third warmest December day on record in Charlotte --  as measured starting in 1878. The warmest on record was 80 degrees in 2007, with 79 degrees in 1931 as the second warmest on record. 

Highs in Charlotte average near 80 at the beginning of the season with that number dropping to the mid-50s by the time we approach winter. Both autumn and spring see the biggest temperature swings here in the Carolinas.

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Why it's so warm this week

After a cold front moved through late Sunday, we have gradually shot up temperature-wise every single afternoon. The reason why is high pressure.

Credit: WCNC Charlotte

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High pressure is usually associated with calm and clear conditions. But when it’s positioned correctly, the clockwise rotation can bring warm, southwesterly wind to the Charlotte region. You add in the fact that dry air warms up much quicker than humid air and you have a recipe for warmer than normal highs, even in December.

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A strong ridge of high pressure can also block frontal boundaries from coming into the Southeast. The lack of a cold front this week has allowed us to get warmer almost every afternoon this week.

Credit: WCNC Charlotte

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Now, if you’re itching for cooler weather, this pattern is expected to break over the weekend. A weak cold front is expected to pass by late Saturday and into Sunday morning.

This front won’t bring moisture, but it will bring cooler temperatures. Highs Saturday will reach the low 70s and drop almost 10 degrees on Sunday with highs struggling to reach the mid-60s.

RELATED: Weather IQ: Charlotte climatology for autumn

Contact Brittany Van Voorhees at bvanvoorhe@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

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