North Carolina

Thousands will graduate from NC colleges this weekend. Will it be a weather washout?

Rain chances starting Friday could make for damp college graduation ceremonies in North Carolina this weekend.

A front moving east through the state is expected to ignite storms capable of producing isolated flooding, cloud-to-ground lightning and large hail, the National Weather Service says.

The chance of rain Saturday through Sunday is 70 to 80 percent in the region, including areas surrounding Charlotte and Raleigh, forecasters say.

The prediction comes as several area colleges and universities are set to have graduations this weekend. In the Triangle, eight schools will hold ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, including N.C. State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke.

Charlotte could see a 30 percent chance of rain throughout the day Friday, with the possibility for wet weather starting in Raleigh overnight, according to the forecast.

Thunderstorms could hit the Triangle starting Friday night, with the chances continuing into Saturday and bringing up to three-quarters of an inch of rain during the day, the National Weather Service says.

Shower and thunderstorm possibilities continue through Sunday, making for wet conditions on Mother’s Day before skies clear late morning on Monday, predictions say.

“Locally heavy rainfall may occur and isolated flooding will be possible under the heaviest downpours,” according to a release from the National Weather Service office in Greenville-Spartanburg.

“Thunderstorms may be a bit stronger than on Friday, with gusty winds and small hail possible, especially over South Carolina. ...The threat will be greatest across the Piedmont of western North Carolina, as well across ... Upstate of South Carolina, Sunday afternoon and evening.”

WBTV meteorologist Al Conklin reports “several waves of low pressure” may stall while sliding through the Carolinas over the weekend “resulting in much more widespread rain.”

The National Weather Service is warning continuous rain could saturate the ground enough to create “localized flooding or flash flooding,” the National Weather Service.

“The flood threat will be highest on Sunday across the extreme southern Appalachians and in flood prone urban areas,” according to the Weather Service.

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