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Days after earliest snow, Wilmington sets record high temperature

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The weather outside may not be frightful, but the ups and down in the last week alone have not been so delightful.

Wilmington set a record low temperature of 29 degrees Wednesday morning and recorded the city's earliest snow ever. The following morning, yet another record low temperature was notched at a frigid 26 degrees. Now, less than a week later, Wilmington instead set a new record high with a temperature of 84 degrees, breaking the previous record of 83 set in 1958.

"Over the past week we have seen everything from below 32 degrees freezing to 80 degrees and sunny," said Mandy Butler during a day out in Wilmington today.

Remember just this past Wednesday when the Wilmington area woke up to a little bit of snow?

"It changed pretty quickly over a 24-hour period," UNCW student Brandon Ostrander said.

High temperatures were 20 degrees below normal topping out in the 40s and a trace of snow fell across the area. But you wouldn't know it this weekend, or today for that matter, with temperatures soaring into the 80s.

So what's going on with all of this crazy weather?

It has to do with the way air moves in the upper atmosphere in something meteorologists call the Jet Stream.

"The Jet Stream is basically a river of air that is flowing through the upper parts of our atmosphere," National Weather Society meteorologist Steven Pfaff said. "When it dives southward, it allows cold air from canada to drop into the united states. When that jet stream retreats, so does that cold air and we warm up, and wait for that next front to come through."

Pfaff says as the seasons change the jet stream dips and retreats more often during a short period of time. This allows for fluctuations in temperature and sometimes weather extremes. If an approaching system has cold air already in place to work with, like it did last week, some of this can even happen.

Remember, you can keep up with all the ups and down with our StormTrack 3 mobile app available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

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