Local News

It's a Fantastic Forecast: Cold, Wet and Windy!

Posted December 25, 2007
Updated December 26, 2007

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— Folks in the Triangle may get a much needed late Christmas gift Wednesday – rain.

"It's going to be cold, windy and wet," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

An upper-level disturbance over the Mississippi-Arkansas border joined up with precipitation along the Gulf Coast and dumped between 1 and 3 inches on Alabama and Georgia before moving into South Carolina on Christmas Day.

Rain should continue to fall throughout Wednesday morning before the system pulls out to the northeast in the mid-afternoon.

"As we go through the afternoon and evening, once the rain tapers off, the grand total here in the Triangle could be about 8 tenths, maybe over an inch in Fayetteville," Maze said. "The greatest amount should be south and east of the Triangle."

After seasonal temperatures and partly sunny skies on Wednesday and Thursday, the weekend could bring even more rain.

"It looks like there could be more sogginess to come," Maze said. "In the forecast late Friday, Saturday and maybe even Sunday, we could be looking at some rain.

"That will certainly help out with drought situation, not get rid of it, but it will help."

The predicted rainfall was desperately needed as RDU's rainfall deficit reached 9.48 inches on Tuesday. The U.S. Drought Monitor released a report Thursday showing two-thirds of the state in exceptional drought conditions and the remainder in extreme or severe drought.

Gov. Mike Easley called the drought the worst in the state's history, and said it was everyone's "patriotic duty" to conserve water and asked water systems to implement tiered water pricing for excessive water use.


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  • Mrs. Fabulous Dec 26, 2007

    Yippie!!! Now all I need for it to do is snow! That way, they'll close my job down for a few days--with pay!! C'mon snow and ICE!! Yep, I said it. However, I hope that everyone that has to drive in it is safe.

  • newtodurham Dec 26, 2007

    Watch everyone prep their irrigation systems to waste the precious resource as soon as they say it is ok. Get your priorities straight people! Drowned lawns lead to water crises.

  • softcurls Dec 26, 2007

    Steve -- wonder if El Niño finally kicked in?

  • GingerTea Dec 26, 2007

    yay! it's raining and cold - a perfect day for staying indoors and making a big pot of venison chili. don't know about anybody else, but i'm so glad to see the rain i went outside and stood in it (not long, mind you).

    hope we get more in the next week.

  • charlesboyer Dec 26, 2007

    getrealpeople -- good post and thanks for the information.

    I was over at Lake Benson on the 24th and it looked only very slightly low over there. I was surprised and had expected several feet, not several inches.

  • pancake Dec 26, 2007

    Last night WRAL said 1/4 inch, more down east and east of 95. This morning, they upped it to 8 tenths of an inch. At 11;30 am have we reached that yet?

  • getrealpeople Dec 26, 2007

    I hope you are right on the weather Steve. Great info at www.ncdrought.org which gives stream levels etc. Falls lake is 241.59 this am almost 10 feet below normal of 251.5, Since we are 9.5" below normal rainfall now for the year it will take a lot more rain. The discharge at Falls Lake is set by Corps now at 55 cfs for winter release. When the river drops below set level at Clayton gauge Raleigh starts pumps at Lake Benson and pumps about 14 million gallons of water per day over to neuse river so the Corps will keep Falls Lake release at 55 cfs. They started this November and they have pumped about 400 million gallons from Benson over to the Neuse saving more in Falls Lake,If not they release more water for downstream fish & Goldsboro etc. Falls needs to refill by spring before required increased release rate at Falls. Remember Durham has lakes upstream of Falls which reduces the inflow in Falls Lake. Merry Christmas!

  • PaulRevere Dec 26, 2007

    Huge trough dipping down next week! The GFS was first with this, now the Euro is on-board...although the GFS has backed off somewhat. We'll see snow next week...watch and see! Regardless, any moisture falling from the sky will be welcomed.

  • charlesboyer Dec 26, 2007

    Problem with refilling the lake is that flow must exceed usage by a large percentage for a given period of time in order to replenish the water that was removed during the rainfall deficit. In other words, well above average precipitation for some time would be the cure.

    I'm sure that I have read before that Falls Lake is smaller than it was originally designed, by as much as 20-25%. As a result, it stores less water than was planned in 1970's when the project was drawn up. I need to go and search through the archives of the N&O in order to confirm this, but if it is the case, why not re-engineer the lake to hold more water? It would be a very interesting question for the WRAL reporters to pursue and determine one way or another if the story holds water (so to speak.)

  • Steve Crisp Dec 26, 2007

    And what is really good is that the rain falling over the Falls Lake watershed north and west of Raleigh itself has been much heavier than what we got in the city so far.

    We also have another huge system setting up in Texas that will be here by the weekend. That one has the potential of laying down even more rain than we have had today.