Rain eases after messy morning commute, but more expected Wednesday

The Triangle had no reports of flooding Wednesday despite a National Weather Service flood advisory issued for the morning, but there were numerous road crashes before rain largely abated by early afternoon and Wednesday’s commute was forecast to be another wet one.

Some areas had received as much as 2 inches of rain in the early morning hours, the weather service said. Raleigh-Durham International Airport recorded 0.63 inches of rain by 11 a.m.

A weather station at the Cane Creek reservoir in western Orange County showed 1.93 inches on its gauge, and a volunteer weather observer in Cedar Creek in northern Orange measured 2.06 inches, according to the weather service.

Rainfall amounts decreased in areas eastward across the Triangle.

Police and firefighters and the State Highway Patrol were dispatched to numerous accidents across the area, including a two-car, wrong-way crash that killed two men on Interstate 440 in Raleigh.

An overturned tractor-trailer on Interstate 40 in downtown Raleigh closed two westbound lanes while officials waited for the truck’s load of pigs to be off-loaded around midday.

In Wake Forest, downed power lines from an accident closed N.C. 98 for a time.

Broad Street – N.C. 55 – in Fuquay-Varina was closed by a wreck shortly before 6:30 a.m., and state transportation notices said it was likely to remain closed until 3 p.m.

Mason Road in Durham County was closed by an early morning crash.

Forecasters said the rain was expected to return after 1 a.m. Wednesday, and they set the likelihood of rain at 90 percent during the day Wednesday and into Wednesday night. That drops to 30 percent Thursday, and Christmas Day was forecast to be partly cloudy.

Unseasonably warm weather was predicted through Christmas, with high temperatures of 73 degrees expected on Wednesday, 79 degrees on Christmas Eve and 75 degrees on Christmas. The average for those days is between 51 and 52 degrees.

Weather service data show that while December is 0.37 inches below normal rainfall through Tuesday morning, the RDU rain gauge had collected 52.83 inches this year. Through Tuesday, that is 10.39 inches above normal.