Eastern North Carolina has been basking in sunshine and springlike temperatures for the past few days. Some locations reached the middle 70s on Wednesday afternoon and many areas should reach at least 70° on Thursday. The warmth was brought about by high pressure just off the Southeast coast, which pumped a strongly southerly flow of air across the area. In fact, this surge of warm air was felt even into the Great Lakes and Northeast. Even springlike temperatures in winter won't last forever and now it appears winter will return quickly this weekend. The slow transition to cooler temperatures will begin on Friday as we cool to the middle 60s for highs. By Saturday highs will stay in the 50s along with a good chance for showers. The cold air will continue to get reinforced Sunday and Monday with another chance for precipitation late Sunday into early Monday. The long-range computer forecasts are indicating a prolonged siege of chilly weather, which begins this weekend, will likely continue for the remainder of the month. The good news is that the official start of spring is just five weeks away.