Holiday weekend starts warm, ends wet
Posted May 25
Updated May 26
Raleigh, N.C. — The long-term weather outlook calls for concentrated rain over central North Carolina by late Sunday into Memorial Day, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
A washout of holiday picnics is likely the only effect the Triangle will see from a system with tropical storm potential.
"Right now this is just a wave," Fishel said, "But there are growing indications that it could reach tropical storm strength by the time it gets to the southeast coast."
As the area of low pressure reaches the Gulf Stream, models show it becoming more concentrated, with a potential for winds of 40 to 50 mph when it makes landfall along the South Carolina coast late Saturday night.
"The remnants of it would reach central North Carolina and perhaps bring some significant rains as we head late Sunday into Monday," Fishel said.
Temperatures Thursday pushed to 90 degrees, the first of three summer-like days that will usher in the unofficial start of the summer season.
The weather should remain cooperative for the kickoff of the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest Friday evening.
"At this point the weather looks good for the mass ascension which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and the balloon glow at 8:30 p.m.," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
Saturday will start out partly cloudy, with the arrival of isolated storms later in the day. The closer to the coast, the more likely the chance for scattered storms on Saturday night, Gardner said.
Clouds will dominate on Sunday and again on Memorial Day, with the greatest chance for widespread rain coming on the holiday.
Fishel said there is a 30 percent chance the system could develop into a named storm by Friday night and a 60 percent chance for development into a tropical or subtropical storm over the next five days.
"It's unlikely this reached hurricane strength," he said, "but it could make for some unsettled conditions, especially Sunday into Monday."