Chill, rain anticipated for Christmas day

Posted December 23, 2009 6:08 p.m. EST
Updated December 23, 2009 11:02 p.m. EST

7-Day Forecast

— While snow snarls travel in the Midwest, holiday travelers in the Triangle should have a relatively easy trip.

AAA predicts more than 3 million people will travel this week in the Carolinas, most of them by car.

For those staying close to home, the weather will be cool and rainy come Christmas day, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Thursday will be partly sunny with highs in the mid 40s. Temperatures will drop overnight to the lower 30s as rain moves into the Triangle.

"The rain will be with use through most of Christmas day,” Maze said.

Friday’s high will be in the lower 50s. The evening will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in mid 30s.

Saturday will be partly cloudy with highs in the mid 50s and lows in the upper 20s.

“The weekend will be dry,” Maze said.

Sunday will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid 40s.

Northern N.C. mountains could see Christmas ice storm

Santa Claus might need to watch his step on rooftops in the northern mountains of North Carolina as forecasters predict up to a half-inch of ice by Christmas morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the mountains and foothills north of Asheville from Thursday evening through Friday morning, including cities like Boone, Wilkesboro and Morganton.

A low moving in from the west will bring rain across the state, while enough cold air stays in the northern mountains to keep temperatures below freezing.

The weather service says a quarter to half-inch of ice could accumulate on power lines, trees and bridges.