Christmas in the Triangle could be wet, but not white
Posted December 20, 2011
Updated December 22, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — The Triangle could be in for a rainy Christmas weekend, but a repeat of last year's holiday snowstorm is not in the cards, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said Wednesday.
Low pressure systems funneling in from the Gulf of Mexico brought scattered rain showers to the area Wednesday and will keep chances for precipitation in the forecast Thursday, early Friday and again on Christmas Day, WRAL Meteorologist Mike Moss said Thursday.
"We didn't get an awful lot of rain yesterday, especially over central and southeast North Carolina, but we did see some light showers in the Triangle off and on all day," he said. "The Raleigh airport saw about a quarter inch of rain Wednesday."
Temperatures will remain mild Thursday and Friday, with highs both days climbing into the upper 60s to near 70. Overnight lows will hover around 60, much higher than seasonal averages.
"This is the first day of Winter but it certainly doesn't feel like it," Moss said.
Skies will clear partially Friday afternoon once the next disturbance moves out, allowing the sun to peek through the clouds in parts of the Triangle during the last day of the work week and early on Christmas Eve.
The clearing will also allow temperatures to return to December averages, Moss said. High temperatures will climb into the mid 50s Christmas Eve before topping out around 50 Christmas Day. Lows both days will be in the low to mid 40s.
Central North Carolina looks like it will avoid the severe weather that has caused traffic problems in the Great Plains this week. Fierce winds and snow caused some highways to close.
About 10 inches of snow fell in western Kansas before dawn Tuesday, and several more inches along with strong wind gusts were expected, National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Russell said.