Heavy to moderate rainfall expected in Triangle

Rain is shown covering much of North Carolina in this radar image.
Rain is shown covering much of North Carolina in this radar image.

A northeast breeze in the dark hours of Tuesday morning carried an unambiguous message: “rain. ” The National Weather Service said the only question was how much and whether it would cause minor flooding in cities as storm drains got temporarily overwhelmed.

There also was a chance that western sections of the Triangle would see some freezing rain before temperatures warmed enough to keep that from happening at all, even though air temperatures were forecast to stay above freezing earlier.

Freezing precipitation loomed larger farther west.

“Widespread moderate to heavy rainfall should average between 1 and 1.5 inches,” weather service forecasters said for the Triangle.

Thunderstorms were in the forecast, but were most likely in counties east of Interstate 95, forecasts said.

The rain came as February’s total stood a bit above average, but the total since New Year’s remained slightly behind.

While the Triangle had rain, the Midwest and Southwest were getting hit by their second snowstorm in a week.

For Tuesday night, the chance of rain fell back to less than 50 percent, and temperatures were expected to range from the low 40s in Chapel Hill and Durham to the mid-40s in Raleigh and farther east.

And lest winter be forgotten too soon, the long-distance forecast for the weekend said snow flurries could appear Saturday afternoon.

For the latest conditions and updated forecasts, go to our weather center.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer