Published: 2009-05-21 08:24:00
Updated: 2009-05-21 14:08:53
Posted May 21, 2009 8:24 a.m. EDT
Updated May 21, 2009 2:08 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A week of springlike weather will drift away into more summer-like conditions, while state troopers and transportation crews clear the roads for holiday traffic.
"We're going to have great grilling weather not just today, but all through the weekend," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "Our temperatures are going to warm up a little bit each until, say, Saturday, and then pretty much hold steady. Humidity climbs just a little bit too."
Temperatures will hit the low 80s Thursday, while sunshine alternates with clouds and humidity stays low.
For Friday and Saturday, a high-pressure system will blow in southeasterly winds off the Atlantic, bringing in higher temperatures and some moisture. Although warm and humid with a high around 85 degrees, those days will stay dry.
"(It's) just going to feel a little muggier for us during the afternoon," Gardner said.
A slight chance of storms will develop Sunday and Monday as a low tracks from the Gulf of Mexico up into the Mississippi River Valley and pushes moisture east.
"For Sunday and Monday, we could see just a couple of isolated thunderstorms," Gardner said.
But don't fear for your Memorial Day cook-out: "I don't think it's going to be enough to cancel any outdoor plans," Gardner said. "They're probably just going to be a few folks who see those stray storms."
State troopers and local law enforcement will step up patrols, and construction crews will quit work to try to keep roads clear for Memorial Day weekend vacationers.
"The Highway Patrol will be busy this weekend making the roads as safe as possible for all motorists," said Col. Walter Wilson Jr., commander of the patrol. "We want to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend."
Construction along interstates and major highways will be halted from 4 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Tuesday. One lane will still be closed on Interstate 85 North, between mile markers 206 and 214 in Vance County. The right lane on both sides of I-85 will be closed at Exit 113 to N.C. Highway 113 in Guilford County.
Patrols will be stepped up, aimed at enforcing speed limits and seat belt laws. Troopers said they hope the high visibility of the patrols will encourage motorists to obey driving laws and prevent crashes.
Law enforcement will also increase efforts to enforce littler laws.
Last year, nine people died and 534 were injured in traffic collisions on North Carolina roadways during the Memorial Day weekend, according to the Highway Patrol. Speed was the leading cause of wrecks and fatalities in the state.
The official holiday weekend runs from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight Monday.
Motorists can report wrecks, impaired drivers, stranded vehicles and other situations to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47).