Cold front could produce strong storms Saturday

Posted March 22, 2012

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— A low pressure system hovering over the Midwest will move into the state on Saturday, bringing with it an elevated risk for severe thunderstorms, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

The front will make its way into western North Carolina in the early morning hours, bringing showers and storms to the Triangle as early as 10 a.m.

“We’re already at an elevated risk for severe weather on Saturday,” Gardner said. “We’ll see this system, which is very slow moving, start to make its way into the area in the early morning hours."

The large front could also impact the state throughout the weekend, Gardner said. 

"More of that low rotates back into North Carolina on Sunday, producing some showers again," she said.

Ahead of the front, most of the area should see partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 70s to low 80s Thursday and Friday. Patchy fog impacted Thursday's commute, but moved out of the Triangle by 9 a.m. 

Temperatures will climb into the mid-70s by lunchtime and and close to 80 by mid-afternoon, still 10 to 15 degrees above normal for late March. The Triangle has seen temperatures above average 17 days this month, with that trend expected to continue, Gardner said.

Widely scattered thundershowers have been flaring up Thursday afternoon, but they will be few and far between compared to the weekend forecast. 

The storms are "developing in a 'summer-like' pattern, popping up here and there, mostly along the coast," Gardner said. Storms could continue to develop through Thursday afternoon, but they will have mostly died out by 8 p.m.

The chance of storms on Friday afternoon can't be ruled out completely, Gardner said, but it should be fairly dry for most of the area.

High temperatures will drop over the weekend, with Saturday’s high topping out in the mid-70s. Sunday’s high will be in the low 70s.


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  • awood2 Mar 23, 2012

    could the weather hold off until Monday! I have plans this weekend. PLEASE!!

  • jeff27577 Mar 22, 2012

    its gonna snow

  • Ambygirl Mar 22, 2012

    The only guarantee you have in this life are death and taxes.......I can't believe you people that come here to bash the meteorologist have nothing better to do than just that!!

  • Scubagirl Mar 22, 2012

    Weather events are not DONE DEALS until they happen. They can forecast with an amount of certainty, but it is not 100%. Cracks me up when folks bash the meterologists for a forecast that doesn't happen. Too many folks just want a guarantee. :-)

  • pulstar40 Mar 22, 2012

    Never said that 30% chance of perceptation had anything to do with the severity of the storm. The article states that "The front will make its way into western North Carolina in the early morning hours, bringing showers and storms to the Triangle as early as 10 a.m." The statement makes it sound that it's a done deal - there will be rain. That's not 30% - it's a 100%. Even if one were to take into consideration that it's not an exact science, it would seem that the percentage should be higher. Earlier this morning The Weather Channel had us listed at 60% chance, which coincides better with what the article said.

  • mesocell Mar 22, 2012

    An addendum to my prior post. An example: You can be setting at home, enjoying the sunshine grilling out and thinking, "man, the meteorologist blew this forecast!" while 15 miles down the road, a family has just had their home destroyed. The NWS and the local media have a duty to the people in their respective CWA (county warning area) to inform the public of potential severe weather. Just because I denounce the forecast as wrong in Roxboro, does not mean the people of Pinehurst are having a great day.

  • Scubagirl Mar 22, 2012

    hopefully it will give us some relief from the early pollen attack

  • mesocell Mar 22, 2012

    Folks, a misconception. If there is a 30% chance of rain, that means that on 3 out of 10 days with the same system, any given point in the forecast area has a chance to see some precip. The severity of the storm plays no role in the chance of rain. In fact, you can have a tornado rip through town yet have no recorded rain for the day.

    What the story is prepping for is the chance that if storms appear, there is a greater than normal risk of said storm becoming severe.

    As we get closer to the forecasted time, the models will shift, and that will cause the percentages of rain to increase/decrease. Do not ever judge the severity of a storm by the percent chance of rain for the day!

  • CaptainClucksDuckboatAdventures Mar 22, 2012

    "Yet the chart under the "weather" tab still says only a 30% chance of rain." - pulstar40

    What's so hard to understand about that and the story? 30 percent of the viewing area will probably see some rain and those that do could experience it in a severe storm. It's not really all that hard to comprehend.

  • pulstar40 Mar 22, 2012

    Yet the chart under the "weather" tab still says only a 30% chance of rain.