More rain, gusty winds on tap for Thursday; flooding possible

Posted November 11, 2009 11:20 p.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2009 2:18 a.m. EST

— Drenching rains across central North Carolina continue Thursday. The heavy downfall potential prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning along the Neuse River through Saturday evening.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Ida blended with an area of low pressure off the coast, brought several inches of rain to the state Wednesday. The forecast called for several more inches on Thursday and early Friday.

"The rain could be steadier and heavier as we head through Thursday," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. "The high will reach the upper 40s to mid 50s."

Raleigh reported 3.67 inches of rain between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 9 p.m. Wednesday. Chapel Hill reported 3.53 inches during the same period, while Fayetteville saw 3.96 inches.

Wednesday was the third-wettest day recorded at Raleigh-Durham International Airport since 1944, according to WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson.

The weather service posted flash flood watches and wind advisories for all but a handful of North Carolina's 100 counties. Small stream flood warnings were posted in urban areas as well.

The storm that started the week as Hurricane Ida weakened Tuesday after making landfall in southern Alabama. It was downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved east over the Florida panhandle.

Moisture from that system joined forces with a cold front and a separate low pressure system off the coast of North and South Carolina to produce a nor'easter that Fishel said would continue to dump rain on the eastern half of the state into Friday.

"The rain will probably be lighter and spotter on Friday, but still there," Fishel said.

The weather service predicted another 1.5 inches of rain in Raleigh by Friday and almost an inch in Fayetteville. Coastal areas would likely bear the brunt of the nor'easter, with more than 3 inches forecast in Beaufort and 7.5 inches in Elizabeth City.

"I don't see any sunshine until about midday Saturday," Fishel said.

Cloud cover will keep temperatures in the low 50s Thursday and the upper 50s Friday, with overnight lows in the upper 40s.

The skies should finally clear Saturday afternoon, and highs were expected to be in the upper 60s to low 70s on Saturday and Sunday.