Winds Will Whip Triangle Overnight, Early Saturday

Rain and winds are likely to linger Saturday, with gusts increasing towards daybreak on Saturday. Wind advisories are in effect for most of the counties in the state, including Durham and Wake.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Triangle area could see a few strong or severe thunderstorms early Saturday, but more than likely, it will avoid a direct hit from the storm system that brought snow to Texas and tornadoes to Florida, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

The brunt of the storm will probably be felt to the east of the Interstate 95 corridor, he predicted. The system appears to be moving further to the east and weakening as it moves up the eastern seaboard, Fishel said.

Rain, however, did fall in the Triangle Friday, bringing more than an inch of precipitation in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Goldsboro and other areas; and more than 1.5 inches in Rocky Mount and Roanoke Rapids.

Rain and winds are likely to linger throughout the morning with wind speeds increasing toward daybreak on Saturday.

The National Weather Service issued wind advisories for most of the counties in the state, including Durham and Wake, through Saturday at 6 p.m.

Gusts could reach 45-50 mph from late morning through early Saturday afternoon. That could mean falling trees and, perhaps, power outages, Fishel said.

By Saturday afternoon, skies should clear up for a mild start to the week.

In the western part of the state, a combination of cold air and moisture could bring snow overnight and continue through Saturday afternoon. The heaviest snow is expected Friday night and early Saturday, when 4 to 5 inches could fall within six or seven hours, said Joe Ammerman, a weather service meteorologist in Louisville, Ky.