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FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Heavy rain expected after a wintry mix this morning

We’ll largely miss out on most of the wintry weather the rest of the state will see, but strong winds and downpours could lead to power outages for some and flooding threats for others
First Alert Forecast for Sunday, January 16th 10AM
Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 6:34 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2022 at 6:45 AM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The low pressure system we’ve been tracking the past few days has finally arrived and will stick around through sunset. The area of low pressure will move over the western half of the state on its way to the Northeast. This eliminates the chance of snow accumulations here in Eastern NC, and also limits our exposure to freezing rain and sleet.

A model outlook (GRAF) of Sunday morning's potential precipitation for 9am.
A model outlook (GRAF) of Sunday morning's potential precipitation for 9am.(WITN Weather)

We will be what is considered the “warm sector” of the frontal system. While this means we will see plenty of moisture, the aptly named “warm sector” will keep temperatures from falling below freezing and keep the precipitation coming in the form of rain. This morning’s rain/freezing rain/sleet mixture will flip to rain at or before noon, washing away any sleet build up on grassy/elevated surfaces.

A model outlook (GRAF) of Sunday afternoon's potential precipitation for 3 p.m.
A model outlook (GRAF) of Sunday afternoon's potential precipitation for 3 p.m.(WITN Weather)

Rain will be an ongoing event until sunset. Light to moderate showers early on will transition to heavy downpours during the afternoon. The duration and intensity of the showers will result in over an inch of rain for most, with some experiencing totals as high as 2 to 3 inches (expected near Carteret and the OBX). The heavy rain will wrap up quickly once the cold front clears the coast, which should happen an hour or two after sunset.

A model outlook (GRAF) of Sunday evening's potential precipitation for 6 p.m.
A model outlook (GRAF) of Sunday evening's potential precipitation for 6 p.m.(WITN Weather)

Strong winds will be present through today and tomorrow. Winds today will blow in at 20 to 30 mph sustained (gusting up to 45 mph along the coast) but will come from different directions depending on the time and position of the low pressure system. Early in the morning, we’ll see a northeast wind last until early afternoon when wind vanes start to point southeasterly. A southwesterly wind will take hold from sunset into Monday morning, which will send our temperatures into the 50s briefly before coming back down into the upper 30s to low 40s by sunrise. Throughout this two day time period, winds will be strong enough to break tree branches and knock down trees, which could impact power across the area.

A model outlook of potential winds Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. The first high tide of Sunday...
A model outlook of potential winds Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. The first high tide of Sunday will occur between 6:15 to 6:30 am.(WITN Weather)

Coastal communities will also be faced with the threat of flooding. Early this morning, the flooding threat will be highest for areas near the mouth of the Neuse River. But as winds shift to the southeast, strong onshore flow will create heavy waves and push substantial water up along southeastern facing beaches. As winds turn southwesterly, the flooding threat will shift to the sound side of the Outer Banks, which could linger into Monday.

A model outlook (GRAF) of potential winds Sunday evening. The second high tide of the day will...
A model outlook (GRAF) of potential winds Sunday evening. The second high tide of the day will occur between 6:45 to 7pm.(WITN Weather)

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