Rain, chills increase through Saturday

Posted March 2, 2012 6:29 p.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2012 12:20 a.m. EST

— Saturday looks to be a wet day across central North Carolina, as showers march across the state ahead of a cold front moving in from the west.

The same front spawned deadly tornadoes across Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois Friday, but will weaken significantly before it arrives in the Triangle, according to WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze.

A solid line of storms brought lightning, high winds and heavy rain from Mississippi to northern Virginia Friday night. Those storms were as close as Asheville, where thunderstorms were reported in the 10 o'clock hour. "The air mass over the Triangle is very stable," Maze said. "As the front makes its way toward us, storms will weaken.

"I have not seen anything that would suggest we would see tornadoes with this system," he said.

Expect the rain to begin around 4 a.m. Saturday, and the greatest chance for severe storms to have cleared the Triangle by 10 a.m., Maze said. 

"Since it appears the front will be arriving in the morning, there is less likelihood of storms becoming severe since we don't have the heating of the day," he added. 

Rain will linger through the afternoon and evening. Temperatures will top out in the mid-60s early Saturday morning before falling through the 50s in the afternoon.  

Partly cloudy skies return to the forecast Sunday as temperatures return to the mid-50s. By Monday and Tuesday morning, low temperatures will be back in the upper 20s and low 30s.