Raleigh, N.C. — If you are going out to do holiday shopping this weekend, you may well encounter rain or strong winds, depending on when you go.
"WeatherScope is still showing a nice looking slug of moisture coming in across our area," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said at noon Friday.
A storm system was expected to organize itself over Texas and move across the Plains states Friday, then into North Carolina on Saturday. Some spotty, light rain was expected through mid-afternoon before the rain becomes heavier, with the bulk falling overnight Saturday.
Gardner said it appeared that this storm system would buck this year's trend.
"It's doing the opposite from what we've seen most of the summer and fall," she said. "We've seen these systems rolling on in, and it looks good way out in advance, and it gets close, and we're like, Nah, it doesn't look like we're going to get rain out of this system.
"Not true this time," she added. "About 24 hours out, it does look like we're going to have some significant rain. Of course, there's still some debate about how much."
Data from the WeatherScope computer model suggests that Raleigh could see more than 1.8 inches of sorely needed rain by 8 a.m. Sunday. They also suggest Fayetteville could see more than 2 inches.
"This is probably best case scenario," Gardner said. "But there are other models showing about half an inch to an inch of maybe a little more across the region. ... We're going to hope for some of those higher totals, I know, across the area."
The last time Raleigh saw significant rainfall was Oct. 26, when 2.19 inches of rain fell on the capital city.
Throughout the day Sunday, skies will be clearing, but the wind that will be blowing out the clouds could gust up to 40 mph. Gardner said the strong winds have the potential to knock down tree limbs, and that could cause isolated power outages.
The bottom was expected to fall out of daily high temperatures, compared with this week, with Monday's high reaching only 45 degrees.