Published: 2012-05-16 08:28:00
Updated: 2012-05-17 05:39:29
Posted May 16, 2012
Updated May 17, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — After three consecutive days with warm, muggy air and scattered thunderstorms across central much of North Carolina, an approaching cold front that will move through the area Thursday should bring relief in time for the weekend.
Areas to the south and east of the Triangle could still see scattered showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon Thursday as high temperatures climb into the upper 70s, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
"The boundary for Thursday's weather is going to be in the Triangle area as this front moves through," she said. "Most of the rain will be to the south and east of Raleigh, but we can't rule out a shower. Folks in Fayetteville, Clinton and Goldsboro should take along the rain gear."
Areas that see more rain showers or thunderstorms Thursday could also see localized flooding where the ground is already saturated by three days of rainfall.
State Department of Transportation officials say drivers should be careful and drive defensively, stay alert and never drive through standing or rushing water.
"People drown in their cars. Cars get flipped upside down. We've all heard stories about cars found with someone upside down (who) couldn't get out," said DOT spokesman Steve Abbott. "That's the kind of thing that could happen."
All types of vehicles are vulnerable to being swept off the road by rushing waters, and water as shallow as an inch or two hide a washout or hole where a vehicle can become stuck. WRAL WeatherCenter Forecast
Once the cold front clears late Thursday, cool, dry air will move into the area to close out the work week. Lower humidity and winds from the northeast should make outdoor activities more pleasant, Gardner said.
Temperatures will bottom out in the low 50s early Friday morning before climbing back into the mid-70s by the afternoon.
"It's going to be beautiful Friday and Saturday," Gardner said. "Back to our spring-like pattern we saw last week."
Low temperatures will bottom out near 50 degrees Saturday morning, but like Friday, should climb back into the upper 70s by mid-afternoon.
The same upper level system that spawned showers and storms Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will bring more chances for rain and storms beginning Sunday, as high temperatures climb back into the 80s and humid air returns.
"We're going to kick this stubborn front out of here Thursday evening, but it's going to come rolling back in by Sunday, so we won't get rid of it for long," Gardner said. "That summer-like pattern will be back by early next week and stay with us."
High temperatures will be in the low-to-mid 80s early next week, and a chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms is in the forecast Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.