Friday's fast storms presage weekend weather

Posted May 4, 2012 10:20 a.m. EDT
Updated May 4, 2012 11:29 p.m. EDT

— Dispatchers in Halifax County took calls Friday evening about power knocked out and trees toppled by fast-moving thunderstorms. A tree fell across White Swan Road about a mile east of Enfield, authorities said, but no one was injured.

The storms signaled the end of a blast of heat that bathed the Triangle in 90-degree temperatures over the past few days.

Much more normal temperatures will follow a cool front into the area this weekend, according to WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.  

"It looks cooler and wetter this weekend, with Saturday pretty rainy from mid-day on," Fishel said.

WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said Saturday was shaping up to be a wet one from about noon until 8 or 9 p.m. "We'll see a heavy rain, some lightning and the potential for winds gusting in excess of 50 mph," he said.

If the clouds clear by midnight Saturday, stargazers will get a double treat, with the ETA Aquarid meteor shower hitting its peek and the "super moon," a popular name for the "perigee moon," out in full force.

Because the moon's orbit is more of an oval than a circle, the moon will be closer to the Earth than normal and appear about 15 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter Saturday night. 

Sunday will be mostly dry, Fishel said, but a fair amount of clouds will dominate and temperatures will stay much cooler, with highs only around 80 degrees.

"Sunday will be a distinct difference from what we've seen over the past couple of days," Maze said, pointing to a forecast high that barely tops 80 degrees.