Outdoor activities are likely to encounter a sodden Sunday

Posted June 21, 2008 6:58 a.m. EDT
Updated June 22, 2008 12:35 a.m. EDT

— The rains came Saturday, sometimes fast and furious, and Sunday may see more of the same because of an unstable and slow-moving weather system that is sitting over the Southeast.

"I think we're going to see scattered showers and storms here in the central part of the state" on Sunday, WRAL meteorologist Kim Deaner said. "Keep that in mind if you have outdoor activities planned."

"We'll see rain again on Monday," she added.

Many locations saw rain Saturday, and some saw a lot of it. RDU International airport reported 1.17 inches of rain by 8 p.m. About 1.5 inches of rain were reported in the Crabtree Valley Mall area. Some places around the airport reported over 2 inches unofficially, Deaner said.

Storm cells popped up and then died away throughout the afternoon, keeping National Weather Service officials busy posting a string of alerts for counties around the area and some flash-flood warnings because of heavy rain.

"We've seen very slow-moving storms all afternoon,"  Deaner said. "We have an upper-level disturbance that's moving into the area, and that's what's initiated these storms. It's a slow-moving system."

Saturday morning, heavy rain moved east from Robeson and Bladen counties and then north up the coast. Some of the rain fell as far west as Goldsboro and southern Cumberland County.

The rain spread over northeastern North Carolina in the early afternoon.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous-weather outlook for central and eastern North Carolina through Monday.

Between half and three-quarters of an inch of rain could fall by the end of Sunday. That total could be higher in areas that get hit by storms.

"That would be good news. We really, really do need to see that," WRAL meteorologist Chris Thompson said. "After we had all those 90-, 100-degree days, ... things are getting dry out there."

The drought that's been ongoing for more than a year has worsened, according to the most recent weekly report from the state Drought Management Advisory Council.

On Thursday, all 100 counties were experiencing drought conditions, two weeks after a quarter of counties were ruled out of the drought. Sixteen counties, including the Triangle, were under a severe drought.