Evening rain brings traffic, football troubles

Posted August 17, 2012 10:11 p.m. EDT
Updated August 18, 2012 12:51 a.m. EDT

The kickoff of high school football season was delayed in some communities by scattered showers that moved across the central part of North Carolina Friday night. Lightning delayed the start of the game between Lee County and Southern Lee; the game between Wake Forest-Rolesville and Durham Jordan was called on account of rain at the half.

Wet roads in the Triangle created hazardous driving conditions as well. Two wrecks – one in Durham and one in Raleigh – created widespread delays on Interstate 40, although it was not immediately clear if the crashes were weather related.

In Raleigh, westbound lanes were closed near Lake Wheeler after a 7:30 p.m. collision under the overpass. In Durham, three lanes were closed and a fourth narrowed at mile marker 278, near N.C. Highway 55. Traffic was diverted to the median for about an hour, and two lanes had reopened by 10 p.m.

The rain precedes a cold front that will bring more unstable weather through the weekend, said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze. 

The forecast for Saturday and Sunday calls for mostly cloudy skies with the chance for showers and storms, increasing in the afternoons. Highs each day will be in the mid-80s and lows right around 70 degrees.

The mid-level moisture stays very, very high through Saturday, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. "That doesn't mean it's going to be raining every second. It simply means the atmosphere is loaded up and any slight disturbance that comes along can kick of showers and thunderstorms."

A handful of high school football games, most of the south of the Triangle, will be played Saturday, including E.E. Smith at Overhills, Lumberton at Cape Fear, Heritage at Holly Springs, Purnell Swett and Pine Forest and 71st at Scotland County.