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Published: 2015-12-31 05:37:00
Updated: 2015-12-31 19:21:07
Posted December 31, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Rain was continuing to fall across central and eastern North Carolina Thursday afternoon and could interfere with some New Year's Eve celebrations in eastern North Carolina.
After easing up late Wednesday, showers returned to the region during the morning hours, and the system bringing the precipitation trudged slowly across North Carolina – much slower than earlier predictions.
"The rain came back to life, as expected, this morning, but it just hasn't moved out," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
As a result, drizzle and rain was expected to continue into the evening as First Night Raleigh and other celebrations kick off to ring in 2016.
"The early part of First Night may not be all that terribly pleasant out there, but we're still hopeful that, by midnight, at least in the Raleigh area, that things will be settling down," Fishel said.
Fayetteville and areas to the southeast could still see some steady rain at midnight, he said.
"It's just a very, very frustrating pattern which is finally going to give way. It's just not giving way as quickly as we had hoped," he said.
By the time the acorn drops to ring in the new year in the City of Oaks, revelers will enjoy above-average temperatures in the mid-40s to 50 degrees.
Fishel said a low of 45 on Jan. 1 is 15 degrees above normal.
"Yes, it's going to feel cooler, but no, this is not punishing wintertime weather by any stretch of the imagination," he said.
The first day of 2016 will include a transition into a much colder air mass. Highs Friday will be in the mid-50s as the area still sees plenty of clouds.
Over the weekend, however, sunshine will break out, and daytime highs will back down into the upper 40s to near 50 degrees.
Overnight lows will feel much more like December, too, dropping to near freezing beginning Friday night.
The cool air will linger throughout the first half of next week, with daytime highs hitting only the 40s on Monday and Tuesday.
Thursday rain finishes off wet 2015
Almost all of the area saw at least 1 inch of rain Wednesday as a front moved through, and many cities and towns saw closer to 2 inches.
Through Thursday, more than 5.5 inches of rain have fallen in the Triangle, which is a little more than 1 inch off the modern record of 6.6 inches for the month.
For the year, the region has recorded more than 56.5 inches of precipitation, which is second in modern times to the 59.14 inches that fell in 1996, when Hurricane Fran contributed to the total. The annual precipitation record for the Triangle is 64.22 inches, set in 1936.