Eastern North Carolina is looking at a likely warm and rainy winter season.


January is showing a 55-60% chance of above average temperatures and precipitation for ENC, according to Morgan Simms, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morehead City.


“A warmer and wetter Eastern North Carolina is favored,” Simms said.


The trend continues through March, Simms said, with the outlook showing above-average temperatures and precipitation is favored.


However, Simms said that doesn’t mean there won’t be cold snaps or dry spells.


The weather outlook for the rest of the week matches the warm-and-cold pattern.


“(ENC shows) very nice weather, at least through Thursday,” Simms said.


New Year’s Day will bring dry weather with temperatures in the 50s, but a front coming through will bring temperatures in the 70s later in the week before dropping back down into the 60s on Saturday and 50s on Sunday, Simms said.


However, Simms said the above-average temperatures do not mean people shouldn’t be prepared for winter weather.


“It’s certainly not a catchall,” he said of the favored forecast. “That’s not to say we couldn’t face the potential for snow.”


Even though Eastern North Carolina doesn’t see a lot of snow, Simms said those living in the area should still have a kit and plan ready just in case.


On their website the National Weather Service lists several tips for winter weather. The kit of emergency supplies listed includes canned and nonperishable foods, water, heating fuel, flashlights, battery-powered radio, and necessary medications, enough for three-to-five days.


Other tips include preventing frozen pipes by wrapping them in insulation or newspaper and letting the faucets drip.


For a full list of winter weather tips, including driving in winter weather, reducing the risk of fire inside your home, and explanations on what watches, warnings and advisories mean, visit weather.gov/mhx/wwaw


Managing Editor Amanda McReynolds can be reached at 910-219-8467 or amcreynolds@jdnews.com