Weather

Southeastern N.C. Gets Rain, Is Triangle Next?

Posted December 22, 2007 9:23 a.m. EST
Updated December 22, 2007 7:42 p.m. EST

— Southeastern North Carolina, including Fayetteville, got a substantial rainfall on Friday, while the Triangle and central parts of the state looked forward to possible rain on Sunday.

WRAL Meteorologist Kim Deaner said it's possible the Triangle could see a 1/2 inch of rain Sunday afternoon, but the weather was expected to be quiet Monday and Tuesday.

More than an inch of ran fell Friday at some places in a swath of North Carolina from west of Fayetteville to the Pamlico Sound. Fayetteville reported 0.55 inches and Wilmington 0.69 inches, while Cape Hatteras and New Bern clocked with nearly 0.4 inches.

Only one-hundredth of an inch of rain was reported at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

"Southeastern parts of our viewing area saw some needed rainfall yesterday," WRAL Meteorologist Mike Moss said. "But a lot of us from the Triangle and into the northern coastal plain didn't get much in the way of rain, just clouds and cool northeast winds."

For Saturday, Moss predicted much of the same: "just a lot of clouds, a couple peeks of sun and a high temperature around 56," although there could be "some patches of drizzle."

On Sunday, however, a storm system could drop some rain on the Triangle, mostly in the afternoon and evening. The system will also bring a slight chance of thunderstorms and wind gusts up to 25 or 35 mph.

The weekend rainfall comes after the U.S. Drought Monitor released a report on 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, said it was everyone's "patriotic duty" to conserve water and asked water systems to implement tiered water pricing for excessive water use.

Moss said Sunday's rain would give a bit of relief from the drought but said rainfall totals would "probably not be the kind of big rain we had last weekend."

Those rains brought 1.2 inches to Raleigh, 1.6 to Fayetteville and 1.8 to Rocky Mount, and pushed back RDU's rainfall deficit from 9.88 to 9.01 inches. By Saturday morning, that deficit had crept back up to 9.34 inches.

Until December's rains, the Triangle waited six weeks for significant rainfall, since 2.19 inches fell on the capital city on Oct. 26.