July gets off to soggy start, but holiday could be clear

Wet month expected after near-record June rainfall
Jul. 02, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Depsite recent weeks of summer showers, Fourth of July revelers in Lee County could be in for a relatively dry celebration.

Less than a quarter of an inch of rain is expected Thursday and Friday, according to Lee County Emergency Services Technical Support Roger Millikin.

“Saturday and Sunday are clear,” he said. “The holiday won’t be a washout, but it will be wet [Monday, Tuesday] and Wednesday.”

The Raleigh area saw its third wettest June on record this year, and Lee County can anticipate a wetter than normal July, according to the National Weather Service.

Showers are expected throughout the rest of the week, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Ryan Ellis, but it should be clearing up with warmer temperatures by this weekend.

“The high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean should move over us, and (the wet weather should) move out this weekend,” he said. “We’ll see significantly higher temperatures by this weekend.”

It’s difficult to predict how wet July will be — because of the “pop-up nature” of summer storms — but Ellis said July has a 40 percent chance of having an above-normal precipitation level.

“The more rain we get, the greater chance of flash flooding, and it’s easier for trees to fall,” he said. “So people need to use extra caution when out on the road.”

The Triangle saw 10.08 inches of rain in June, slightly less than the record-setting 10.45 inches in 2006. Tropical Storm Andrea delivered five inches of rain within the Raleigh area, and a persistent high pressure system off the coast and upper-level trough has pulled moisture from the Gulf of Mexico onto the area for the past several weeks, Ellis said.

Millikin said Lee County could expect anywhere from 1.5 to 2 inches throughout the week, and Lee County had four times the normal amount of rain during the last week of June.

“If you see water, don’t drive through it.” he said. “That’s the biggest thing. It’s killed lots of people (around the state) and, if you see lightning, stay inside for a half an hour.”