RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A disturbance in the western Atlantic is expected to gain strength and move through the region this weekend spreading rain and gusty winds up into the Carolina mainly late Friday into Saturday.
As of Thursday morning, a trough of low pressure was beginning to produce an area of showers and storms right off Flordia’s peninsula. However, the forecast remains on track for the coastal low to form along a stalled boundary by Friday morning. Models suggest the low could develop tropical or subtropical characteristics as it approaches North Carolina on Saturday. Regardless, expect Friday into Saturday to be wet, windy, and cool.
Winds are expected to pick up Friday night with gusts up to 35 mph as far north as the Triangle. Wind gusts will be highest at the coast with gusts up to 50 to 60 mph winds possible.
While winds of this magnitude are unlikely to produce much damage, they can still cause weak trees or branches to fall, potentially leading to localized power outages if they impact power lines.
High-profile vehicles, like 18-wheelers and large trucks, may also be affected by wind gusts, making driving hazardous at times.
CBS 17 Chief Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein says that while the confidence continues to increase that the system will develop, “it hasn’t formed yet, so expect there to be adjustments to the forecast.”
If the track moves farther east away from the coast, then we can expect lower rainfall totals and lower wind gusts in central North Carolina.
Conversely, if the track of the coastal low is farther west, it will bring heavier rain and potentially higher wind gusts into central North Carolina.
Preliminary estimates suggest an average rainfall of about an inch across the region, with some areas, especially those near I-95, possibly receiving up to 2 inches.
As always, check back in for additional updates to the forecast for our region and how this system will impact the weekend.
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This forecast was prepared by the CBS 17 Storm Team and is based on the latest information available and years of weather forecasting in North Carolina. It was not produced by a computer like many forecasts you find on the web, social media and smart phone apps.