Wet weather will move out in time for First Night celebration

Posted December 29, 2015 11:17 p.m. EST
Updated December 31, 2015 5:17 a.m. EST

North Carolina Radar

— Wet weather will stick around for the final day of 2015 as areas around the Triangle recover from flooding left behind after Wednesday’s heavy rain, but the area will ring in the new year under dry skies.

Almost 1.7 inches of rain fell at Raleigh-Durham International Airport between 5 p.m. Tuesday and 5 p.m. Wednesday, and WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said another round of rain would hit the region early Thursday.

Fishel said the plume of moisture that wreaked havoc on the Triangle Wednesday moved eastward overnight, creating a lull in the precipitation, but wet weather was expected to return Thursday morning.

So far in December, more than 5.5 inches of rain have fallen in the Triangle, which is a little more than 1 inch off the modern record of 6.6 inches for the month.

For the year, the region has recorded more than 56.5 inches of precipitation, which is second in modern times to the 59.14 inches that fell in 1996, when Hurricane Fran contributed to the total. The annual precipitation record for the Triangle is 64.22 inches, set in 1936.

Temperatures will remain above normal despite the rain, with highs topping out in the mid-60s early Thursday before falling the rest of the day. Temperatures will be in the low 50s for New Year's Eve celebrations on Thursday night.

“It may not be 65 but 50 is not bad compared to how it can be in this part of the country this time of year,” said Fishel.

Despite the looming threat of rain, Fishel said the last of the wet weather will have moved east before it’s time to ring in the new year.

“It may not be all that prey of a New Year’s Eve along the beaches of southern North Carolina but for us it should just be cloudy and dry as we head toward the midnight period,” he said.

On the first day of 2016, an abrupt cool down will begin as clouds start to clear out.

Highs Friday will be in the mid-50s, and overnight lows will dip back to near freezing over the weekend.

Daytime highs Saturday may not reach 50 degrees, and Sunday will be in the low 50s. Sunshine will dominate all weekend.