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It's a Fantastic Forecast: Cold, Wet and Windy!

Shoppers eager to hit local malls will see some sogginess in central and eastern North Carolina Wednesday and then again this weekend, WRAL meteorologists forecast.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Folks in the Triangle may get a much needed late Christmas gift Wednesday – rain.

"It's going to be cold, windy and wet," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

An upper-level disturbance over the Mississippi-Arkansas border joined up with precipitation along the Gulf Coast and dumped between 1 and 3 inches on Alabama and Georgia before moving into South Carolina on Christmas Day.

Rain should continue to fall throughout Wednesday morning before the system pulls out to the northeast in the mid-afternoon.

"As we go through the afternoon and evening, once the rain tapers off, the grand total here in the Triangle could be about 8 tenths, maybe over an inch in Fayetteville," Maze said. "The greatest amount should be south and east of the Triangle."

After seasonal temperatures and partly sunny skies on Wednesday and Thursday, the weekend could bring even more rain.

"It looks like there could be more sogginess to come," Maze said. "In the forecast late Friday, Saturday and maybe even Sunday, we could be looking at some rain.

"That will certainly help out with drought situation, not get rid of it, but it will help."

The predicted rainfall was desperately needed as RDU's rainfall deficit reached 9.48 inches on Tuesday. The U.S. Drought Monitor released a report Thursday showing two-thirds of the state in exceptional drought conditions and the remainder in extreme or severe drought.

Gov. Mike Easley called the drought the worst in the state's history, and said it was everyone's "patriotic duty" to conserve water and asked water systems to implement tiered water pricing for excessive water use.


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