Published: 2011-09-28 10:01:00
Updated: 2011-09-28 17:04:19
Posted September 28, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Storms rolled across the Triangle again overnight, but by the weekend, dramatically cooler, drier and sunnier weather will take hold.
A strong band of thunderstorms dumped as much as an inch of rain and sparked lots of lightning as it crossed Chatham County through Wake County northeast to the Virginia border late Tuesday and early Wednesday, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
A fallen tree blocked McDowell Street in downtown Raleigh as the morning rush hour began, but most of the damage was concentrated in the Five Points area. Downed trees and limbs were scattered about the neighborhood in the storm's wake, and hundreds were without power.
A giant oak tree collapsed on Nelson Mendoza's home on Pershing Road, landing on top of his bedroom. Mendoza said he awoke as he was tossed in midair and ran into the living room to find his boxer dog.
"There was a huge crashing sound and a huge light. I didn't even realize what was happening," Mendoza said. "I'm sitting there, hugging my dog, just trembling, trying to figure out what happened."
His house, which was built in the 1920s, sustained water and structural damage.
Neighbor David Lee said he heard the storm as well.
"(There was) real strong wind, I mean, real strong, like a a train roaring. And so, I jumped up out of the bed and came to the front door, and it was hailing and raining and wind blowing so hard you couldn't even see street lights," he said.
Hot and humid conditions could spark more showers and storms as a weak cold front passes across the region Wednesday.
"We're finally going to kick this weather pattern out soon, and by the weekend, we'll see much different conditions: cooler, drier, plenty of sunshine," Gardner said.
The weak front won't cool things down – highs will be in the low 80s Thursday and Friday – but it will drive away the chance of rain for Thursday.
On Friday, a stronger cold front will pass through, possibly sparking a shower or two. Then, "the big cool-down ensues," Garnder said.
The daily highs will dip into the 60s Saturday and Sunday, while the overnight lows will be chilly, in the 40s.
The start of the next work week will see a warm-up, with highs returning to the mid 70s Monday and around 80 degrees Tuesday.
The sunshine and dry weather, though, will be here to stay for those days.