Forecasters expect Hurricane Irma to bring between 2 to 4 inches of rain to the Raleigh region starting Monday evening.
The fast-moving storm should pass out of the Triangle by Tuesday afternoon, leaving little chance of heavy flooding because river levels are low thanks to dry late-summer weather, said Chris Hohmann, chief meteorologist at ABC11 Eyewitness News.
Hohmann warned that any predictions are subject to change with the storm still four days from its expected arrival. But as it is tracking now, the Triangle should not expect to be under much water.
“It certainly doesn’t look anything like Matthew,” which flooded Eastern North Carolina last year, he said.
Wind speed should reach 50 mph in Raleigh, which could lead to branches and weaker trees falling and cutting power. But that tropical storm strength falls far short of the more devastating storms to strike the Triangle. Hurricane Fran hit in 1996 with weakened wind speeds around 115 mph.
Hohmann said Irma “is not going to be a Fran-type situation for us.”
Clouds should begin gathering Sunday evening as the storm pushes north. Commuters should expect Monday morning breezes around 25 mph, Hohmann said, with Irma’s heaviest impact coming by evening and lasting overnight.
“Assuming it’s zipping along,” Hohmann said, “things should be clear by Tuesday afternoon.”