N.C. braces for chilly, windy, rain days

Posted November 12, 2009 9:35 a.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2009 12:47 p.m. EST

— Rain, wind and chilly temperatures will reign in North Carolina until the weekend, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida turn into a nor'easter and drive in moisture from the Atlantic Ocean.

"It's going to be chilly, windy and rainy today  ," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

The rain shifted northward Thursday, away from southeastern counties that saw the most rain Wednesday. Areas south of the Triangle are likely to get just scattered showers.

The most intense rain – between 3 and 5 inches over 24 hours – was falling between Rocky Mount and Roanoke Rapids, prompting a flash flood warning for Franklin, Halifax, Warren, Nash and Edgecombe counties until 1:45 p.m. Flooding is possible on roadways, poor drainage areas and small creeks and streams.

Flood warnings and watches were extended into Friday morning as rivers continued to rise. The Neuse River was above flood stage in Smithfield and Clayton and causing minor flooding in Johnston County, while the Haw River was above flood stage in Alamance County.

The rest of central North Carolina could see some runoff flooding, especially in low-lying, urban areas.

"From here on out, we should see our flooding problems tapering off," Gardner said. "We’re going to be dealing it with it up in the northeast for the next few hours. Then, hopefully, we’ll start to see that tapering off."

By Friday, another 1.5 inches of rain could fall in Raleigh, nearly an inch in Fayetteville, more than 3 inches forecast in Beaufort and 7.5 inches in Elizabeth City.

Powerful wind gusts between 30 and 40 mph could also be a problem Thursday afternoon.

"It's definitely gusty out there, and that could cause some trees and power line to fall throughout the day," Gardner said.

Friday's weather will be only a slight improvement, with clouds and drizzle lingering around. The high will be in the mid 50s and low in the mid 40s.

"Tomorrow, it’ll be cloudy, it’ll be chilly, and it’ll be breezy. But we won’t have heavy rain, and we won’t have really windy conditions, just breezy," Gardner said.

The skies should finally clear Saturday afternoon, and highs are predicted to be in the upper 60s to low 70s this weekend.