Skies to clear behind cold front

Posted January 26, 2012 10:26 p.m. EST
Updated January 27, 2012 9:14 a.m. EST

— Heavy showers moved through central North Carolina during the commute hours Friday morning, but did not produce any isolated tornadoes or severe weather, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. 

Rain and standing water on the roadways caused several minor traffic accidents, but no major delays were reported on highways in the area. 

"We can breathe a little sigh of relief," Gardner said. "The heaviest rain is now through our area, but spots east of I-95 could be dealing with some heavy rain for a bit longer. Our severe thunderstorm risk is all but over."

The cold front, which produced severe weather and tornadoes in parts the southeast during the week, will be east of the I-95 corridor by 9 a.m., making way for clearing later in the day. 

Temperatures Friday will climb into the upper 60s Friday thanks to the warm air mass associated with the weather system, but will drop back into the upper 30s and low 40s by Saturday morning. 

Skies should begin to clear around lunchtime in central North Carolina as winds shift from the southwest to northwest behind the front, Gardner said. 

"We'll have variably cloud skies during most of the afternoon," she said. "But by 5 p.m., we should be pretty clear. Some folks in the western part of the viewing area are already seeing clearing."

The weekend forecast includes lots of sunshine and continued warm temperatures, with highs Saturday reaching the low 60s Temperatures will cool slightly Sunday, topping out in the mid 50s. Lows both days will fall back into the 30s. 

"Once this weather passes through this morning we'll have some clearing skies," Gardner said. "The weekend looks really nice."