Flash flood watches posted in advance of expected rain

Precipitation in the Triangle will pick up significantly Tuesday night and Wednesday, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The National Weather Service posted flash flood warnings Tuesday afternoon for more than 80 of the 100 counties in North Carolina in advance of an expected heavy rainfall.

"The rain could be rather excessive over the next couple of days," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

"Some models suggest up to 6 inches" of rain for the central part of the state by late on Thursday, he said. Raleigh could see more than 4 inches of rain over the next three days.

The storm that started the week as Hurricane Ida weakened Tuesday after making landfall in southern Alabama. It was downgraded to a tropical depression and was moving east over the Florida panhandle.

That system was expected to evolve into a low pressure rainmaker for the southeast in coming days, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. When remnants of the storm interact with a cold front moving across the area, heavy rain could result, she said.

"We are going to get a lot of rain in our area. We'll likely have some flooding issues around here by the time it's all said and done on Friday," Gardner said.

Triangle residents saw a cloudy, warm day with spotty showers Tuesday. The forecast high was 67 degrees.

"Just to our west, they already have flash flood watches and are anticipating 2 to 4 inches of rain," Gardner said.

Precipitation in the Triangle will pick up significantly Tuesday night and Wednesday, she said.

The steadiest and heaviest rain is expected on Wednesday, WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Temperatures will be cooler, too, with a forecast high of 53 degrees.

Thursday will be cloudy, windy and rainy with highs in the mid 50s. Friday will be cloudy as well with some drizzle.

The sun returns for the weekend with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s.

In preparation for heavy rains, the City of Raleigh put crews on alert to deal with clogged storm drains. Officials are also monitoring creeks.

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