Say goodbye to Michael and hello to fall
One day after Michael soaked much of the Triangle and central North Carolina, Friday will be dramatically different with cool, crisp weather and plenty of sunshine.
WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said it will finally feel like autumn, which officially started Sept. 22.
“Fall is finally here,” she said. “What a difference a day makes.”
Gardner said the official weather reporting station at Raleigh-Durham International Airport reported 2 1/2 inches of rain on Thursday, although some parts of central North Carolina saw higher rain totals. Rocky Mount saw wind gusts that topped out around 60 degrees.
Several public school districts, including Wake County, opted to close Friday as the region dries out. Full list: Closings & Delays
Gardner said Michael is now classified by the National Hurricane Center as a post-tropical cyclone.
“We are finished with this storm,” she said.
Friday will be mostly sunny with high temperatures in the low 70s. Friday night will be cool and crisp with lows in the upper 50s. The high temperatures on Saturday and Sunday will only reach the upper 60s before the mercury drops to the low 50s for both days.
At least six deaths have been linked to Michael, including one in Iredell County in North Carolina.
Troopers say the man was driving on U.S. Highway 64 when a large oak tree fell on top of his vehicle, crushing it. The man has been identified as Brian Cooper, 38, according to the Iredell Firewire, a site that reports on public safety. He is survived by a wife and two children.
Michael is now considered to be the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in over 50 years.
High winds, downed trees, streets inundated by rising waters and multiple rescues of motorists from waterlogged cars played out in spots around Virginia and North Carolina.
In North Carolina’s mountains, motorists had to be rescued Thursday from cars trapped by high water. High winds toppled trees and power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands without power. Flash flooding also was reported in the big North Carolina cities of Charlotte and Raleigh. Similar scenes played out in parts of Virginia as the storm raced seaward.