09/29/10 — Rain, rain on way

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Rain, rain on way

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 29, 2010 1:46 PM

Wayne County can expect another drenching of 4 to 6 inches of rain between now and tomorrow afternoon as a fast-moving tropical depression sweeps across the state.

While the heavy rains could produce some flooding, the storm that quickly developed in the Caribbean on Tuesday is not expected to produce any heavy winds in the area, according to Jonathan Blaes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

However, soil baked by months of 90-plus degree weather and no rain could be softened enough by the rains to allow trees to topple even in more moderate winds, he said.

Blaes said he would be surprised if gusts reached 25 or 30 mph.

He said that it is difficult to pinpoint when the storm would be over the area, but that at it would probably be in the 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. range Thursday.

The skies are expected to start clearing some by Thursday afternoon in advance of milder fall-like temperatures.

"It will move through fairly quickly and the sun could be out by the afternoon," he said. "It will be a cool and fall-like weekend."

As of mid-morning Tuesday, the county had been soaked with 4 to 6 inches of rain. Wayne County can expect another 4 to 6 inches on top of that, Blaes said.

By this morning, the storm's center was about 230 miles south-southwest of Miami and moving north-northeast at 9 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Winds were rated at 35 mph, but the depression was forecast to strengthen and become a tropical storm.

Showers and possibly thunderstorms can be expected in the county through today gradually becoming heavier later in the day. It will not be an all-day event and lulls are expected between showers, Blaes said.

Thunderstorms are possible after 2 p.m. today and the high temperature is expected to be near 75 with an east wind between 7 and 9 mph.

The showers, and possibly a thunderstorm, will continue through the night. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. The low will be around 70 with an east wind between 10 and 13 mph, gusting as high as 26 mph.

Occasional showers will continue into Thursday with the chance of a thunderstorm. The high will be near 79 with a south wind between 11 and 14 mph, gusting as high as 24 mph.

While the skies are expected to start clearing by Thursday afternoon, the chance remains for more scattered showers prior to midnight.

Friday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 78 with a north wind between 7 and 15 mph. It is forecast to be partly cloudy Friday night with a low around 55.

Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 73 and partly cloudy, with a low around 52 Saturday night.