Published: 2011-08-04 05:30:00
Updated: 2011-08-04 22:39:45
Posted August 4, 2011 5:30 a.m. EDT
Updated August 4, 2011 10:39 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Tropical Storm Emily was downgraded Thursday as the system fell apart over the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, making it less likely that the system would affect North Carolina.
Meanwhile, a frontal boundary over the state increased the likelihood of rain for the Triangle and Sandhills over the weekend.
Only the remnants of Emily remained by Thursday afternoon, as the system lost its low-level circulation, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. Winds topped out at 35 mph.
Maze said Hispaniola "just sheered the storm apart. It just couldn't handle the mountainous terrain."
The system was still expected to dump 6 to 12 inches of rain on Haiti and the Dominican Republic, he said.
Computer models still forecast the moisture in the system to move northwest in the coming days, moving over south Florida before shifting to the northeast and heading out over the Atlantic Ocean.
The frontal boundary over North Carolina will force Emily's remnants out to sea, Maze said, while allowing moisture from the Midwest to soak the state and give a brief respite from the intense summer heat.
The high temperature at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Thursday was 95, but high humidity levels pushed the heat index close to 110. Fayetteville recorded a high temperature of 102.
"I daresay that (Friday) no one will have 100 for a forecast high," Maze said.
The chance for precipitation increases late Friday and into Saturday, he said.
"It may end up being mostly cloudy on Saturday, and if there's enough cloud cover, it may end up staying in the 80s all day," he said.
High temperatures Friday through Sunday are expected to be in the low 90s, with the heat spiking again on Monday, when temperatures could hit 100 again, he said.
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