Warmer Weekend on Tap

Posted February 22, 2008 11:00 a.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2008 6:24 p.m. EST

— After a wet and cold start Friday that forced some schools to delay openings, temperatures might rebound across the Triangle, yielding milder weather for the weekend.

Overnight sleet caused a few icy patches Friday morning. Police reported 30 car accidents in the Raleigh, Garner, and Morrisville area.

The sleet began falling Thursday evening in Raleigh and some parts of Chapel Hill and Cary. Viewers reported that sleet stuck to surfaces in Rocky Mount, Wake Forest and parts of Chatham, Granville, Franklin, Vance and Wilson counties late Thursday.

That sleet turned quickly into rain in the Triangle and eastern North Carolina, where ground temperatures remained above freezing.

Showers tapered off Friday afternoon, leaving behind accumulations of 0.25 inches in Chapel Hill, 0.30 in Raleigh and 0.29 in Roanoke Rapids.

Totals were higher south and east of the Triangle. Rocky Mount got 0.66 inches and Fayetteville 0.75, while Goldsboro and Lumberton came in at more than 0.80 inches each.

Far southeastern North Carolina could see more rain tonight. "Most of the rain has been suppressed way to the south and the east," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. "Around our neck of the woods, anything more than just some patchy light rain and drizzle is very unlikely."

A few showers might flare up early Saturday, but in general, skies are expected to clear, perhaps allowing spring-like temperatures to creep into central North Carolina.

"The big question for Saturday is, can we get the sun out in time to get those 60s?" Fishel said. "Hopefully, we start to see some sunshine in the afternoon. If we do, we should get to at least 60.

"If the clouds are particularly belligerent, then it'll be hard to get up to that reading. ... It's getting rid of the shallow layer of damp, moist, chilly air which is going to be the real challenge."

If the sun does break through, highs could reach 60 degrees in Raleigh and 64 in Fayetteville, with areas north getting into the upper 50s.

The warming trend will continue until Tuesday, with a brief hiccup Sunday. A weak disturbance should keep the high to 50 degrees that day.

A dry cold front will move in overnight Tuesday, ushering in colder temperatures.