Temperatures across eastern North Carolina have not been above 50 degrees since December 27. It is one of the longest spells of cold weather experienced in several years. Th last cold spell similar to this one occurred in late January into early February 2000 or about 10 years ago. Ice has formed in ponds and lakes across the area over the past few years. It appears that we'll finally come out from underneath the cold dome of high pressure that has kept the chill lingering for a while. The so called "January thaw" is developing across the United States and that means much warmer conditions. Warmer conditions started in the Plains early in the week and will progress to the East Coast on Thursday and Friday. Temperatures are expected to remain at or slightly above normal as we go through next week. There is no way of knowing when and if the severe cold will return this winter but at least we have a break coming for the next week to 10 days.