Wet Is Wonderful, and More Is Coming

Posted October 24, 2007
Updated October 25, 2007

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— Parts of the Triangle liked the look, the feel, the smell and the sound of it Wednesday – rain that had been far too long in coming. Other sections were hoping to join the excitement as a weather system promised more rain Thursday and Friday.

Most of central and eastern North Carolina could see anywhere from 1 inch to 3 inches of rain by Saturday, and there was a chance that more than 5 inches might wet down the dusty Triangle – though even that much would leave the area with ongoing water problems.

"Precipitation forecasts can never be taken literally down to the tenth or hundredth of an inch, but it does give you an idea that the potential here is for a real, real soaking and a lot more significant rain between now and the time it cuts off on Saturday morning," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

There were some severe storms and wet-road accidents as usual, but the rain generally brought good rather than ill. The weather system that delivered the gift combined a cold front that was in Virginia and slowly moving south into warm, moist air off the ocean.

Slow was good as forecast models showed showers continuing on Thursday and Friday, sometimes heavy ones, while the weather factors danced over Carolina.

Wednesday, weather stations reported anywhere from a trace of rain to more than an inch. Totals measured 1.15 inches in Chapel Hill, 0.80 inches in Raleigh, 0.59 inches in Siler City and 1.32 inches in Rocky Mount as of 10:30 p.m.

Other areas had received less or no rainfall, however. Louisburg got 0.35 inches, Fayetteville 0.39 – and areas farther east had none. Areas north and west of the Triangle saw the most rain – Burlington with 2.15 inches and South Hill with 1.73 inches.

"Over the course of the next couple of days, (there is a chance) that these differences will even out, at least to some degree, as the have-nots today end up being the haves tomorrow, and perhaps Friday, as well," Fishel said.

"It's not a solid coverage, but by the time you get through a two- or three-day period, just about everybody is likely to see some heavy downpours," Fishel added.

The last time the Triangle had substantial rainfall was on Sept. 14, when the gauge at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport recorded 1.91 inches.

North Carolina needs at least 15 inches of rainfall to ease statewide drought conditions, however, state officials said.

“The forecasts are for below normal rainfall during the winter and spring, and historically, that's when North Carolina has gotten most of its rainfall for the year. So, it's entirely possible that we'll be in worse shape next year than we are this year,” Syd Miller, water resources manager for the Triangle J Council of Governments, said.

Miller briefed the council's executive committee Wednesday night on the area's drought status. He said current conservation measures are helping, but the drought started long before this past summer and will likely take years to go away.

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. Mike Easley sent a message to TV meteorologists around the state asking them to help encourage viewers to conserve water by sharing "drought-busting tips" during their on-air forecasts.

"The rain we are getting this week, while welcome, is not going to be enough to get us out of this drought," Easley said in the letter. "We cannot make it rain as much as we need, although I know you would if you could, so we must do even more to conserve the water we have."

Easley and Representative Bob Etheridge will meet Thursday with the House Agriculture Committee. They are trying to get immediate help for farmers affected by the drought.

WRAL's Dan Bowens will report live Thursday from Washington.


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  • rc4nc Oct 25, 2007

    I heard once that "After every drought, there comes a good rain" This must be it..

  • Stephenosn Oct 25, 2007

    4 1/4" of rain in Pine Level, N.C. as of 10:30 pm, October 24th, 2007. More rain than we've had over the last 2 1/2 months.


  • Just WhiskeyKel Oct 25, 2007


  • ghimmy47 Oct 25, 2007

    A couple more days and WRAL will be headlining the dramatic wet weather and "When Will It End?"

  • shine Oct 25, 2007

    We had some good rains east of Rocky Mount yesterday..... They came in the afternoon - and evening... I went to the grocery store about sunset..... and it was raining really hard... I parked about 2/3rd's of the way in the parking lot just so I could walk in it....... I got in the store - and some people I know asked "don't you have an umbrella" my reply " I don't want one".

  • patrickandaiden Oct 25, 2007

    I think you people who are continuing to plant grass are just as bad as a car wash running non-stop. If you want water, screw your lawn.

  • mom2threecld Oct 25, 2007

    markdanaman, get over bush would ya? this has nothing to do with him, be careful, your iq may be showing
    thank god for every little drop of rain

  • weasleyes Oct 25, 2007

    Zeus can go jump in the lake, and I hope he does it from the high diving board and into the dry part. I praise
    God for every drop!

  • WilloWSnapper Oct 24, 2007

    when I got drenched outside today I wasnt cursing,lol. I was praising ! We just planted need seed last week and yes we got a 3 week exception from the city since it's new grass. BUT this rain helps alot.
    We are planning to get rain barrells and stockpile water

  • jules wants Beth back Oct 24, 2007

    Yay! I hear thunder out there. It hasn't rained in a short while here, so I guess it would be a good time to let the dogs out.

    We've had rain off and on here in Rosewood outside of Goldsboro off and on since early afternoon. YAY! I know my plants are happy!

    Keep it coming! We'll take all we can get! :)