Local News

Predicted Rain to Bring Little Relief From Drought

Posted November 24, 2007 10:35 a.m. EST
Updated November 24, 2007 11:05 a.m. EST

— The possibility of rain over the Triangle this weekend holds out little hope of giving a knock-out punch to the drought, WRAL meteorologists predicted.

The drought intensified and spread across North Carolina last week, according a map released by the U.S. Drought Monitor on Friday. The federal agency placed 56 counties in the exceptional drought category – up from 25 counties the week before.

Gov. Mike Easley asked residents to continue to conserve "aggressively" for the remainder of this year. More than half of North Carolinians were under mandatory water restrictions, including bans on irrigation.

"Very dry air" hung over Raleigh on Saturday morning, but WRAL Meteorologist Mike Moss said a warm front over the Gulf of Mexico and a system over Texas would combine to bring a chance of rain to the region.

"Today, we’ve got a disturbed area over Texas that’s starting to produce some rain showers," Moss said. "That’s not going to march right up toward us, but it will be kind of gradually be building and working together with a warm front across the Gulf of Mexico to give us chance of sprinkles or light rain later tonight and tomorrow."

Eastern North Carolina could see severe thunderstorms from those systems on Monday evening and night.

The rainfall total those systems could produce remains uncertain, but Moss did not expect them to dump much.

"Forecasting … does get to be a hard job here in the next couple of days to try to figure out how much rain we might get," he said.

Moss predicted that at most, the Triangle would pick up a few hundredths of rain from Saturday night through Sunday, followed by 2 to 4 tenths of an inch on Monday.

As of Friday, Raleigh-Durham International Airport had a year-to-date rainfall deficient of 7.99 inches.

"It looks like that'll grow between today and tomorrow, and maybe we'll stave that back off a little bit as we head through tomorrow and Monday with a couple chances of rain," Moss said.

"But, again, (I'm) not sure how much we're going to get out of those. ... (They're) certainly not going to be a drought buster for us."

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