Dry afternoon on tap for NC State Fair, but blustery winds continue in Raleigh
Posted October 17, 2019 1:19 p.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2019 1:31 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The heavy rain that spread across central North Carolina on Sunday morning is over -- at least for now, according to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.
Remnants from former Tropical Storm Nester moved away from the region on Sunday after bringing heavy rain and blustery winds to the state.
Heavy and steady rain fell across the region from midnight to 6 or 7 a.m., according to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner. By 8, the rain was tapering off, and Gardner said the "bulk of it" would be gone by noon.
According to Gardner, the system moved through North Carolina quickly. The rain slowed in North Carolina's western and southern counties first and moved out to the northeast later Sunday morning.
"I think we're going to get the perfect amount of rain," Gardner said, indicating that, while enough rain fell to improve drought conditions, flooding should not be an issue. "This is a nice steady rain that we can handle."
According to Gardner, Nestor caused anywhere from a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of rain to fall in Raleigh, with more in some areas.
Even after the rain moves out of the region, winds will be strong for most of Sunday, gusting as high as 25 mph at times.
Even after the fairgrounds dry out, those winds could shut down rides at the North Carolina State Fair Sunday afternoon, WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth said.
The SkyGazer, the 155-foot high ferris wheel new to the fair this year, is designed and manufactured to withstand winds of up to 120 mph winds, but operators said it can only run safely at wind speeds that do not exceed 33 mph.
The heavy rain and strong winds prompted crashes overnight and early Sunday morning in Raleigh, Clayton, Benson and Durham Sunday morning as drivers traveled on wet, slippery roads.
Thankfully, most drivers were off the roads Sunday morning, so crashes and injuries were minimal.
Monday will be a dry day before a chance for severe weather moves in Tuesday. There is a 30 percent chance for rain on Tuesday, and the day could be stormy, with some severe weather possible across the state.
The National Hurricane Center said Nestor weakened to a post-tropical cyclone on Saturday before it made landfall on St. Vincent Island in Florida.
At 5 p.m. Saturday, the storm's top sustained winds were down to 40 mph. It was moving northeast at 23 mph.
Since the system is no longer a tropical storm, no further advisories on its location would be sent out by the National Hurricane Center.
Impacts outside of North Carolina
The Associated Press reports two tornado warnings were issued in southern Georgia Saturday night. There were no immediate confirmations of any tornadoes seen. There were areas with downed trees and power outages.
In Florida, the storm spun off at least three tornadoes as it moved north through the Gulf. The Polk County Sheriff's Office said several homes were damaged and Kathleen Middle School had a large section of its roof torn off when the tornado hit late Friday near Lakeland, about an hour's drive southwest of Orlando.