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Intense rain expected Thursday afternoon

December 20, 2018 GMT

Thursday will get a soaking throughout the day, with rain starting in the Triangle by mid-to-late morning before intensifying by lunchtime and continuing throughout the night, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Rain started in southern North Carolina around 6 a.m. It is expected to reach the Triangle by 9 or 10 a.m. The high will be in the low 60s.

The eastern half of the state has a low threat for severe weather Thursday, but thunderstorms will likely appear by the end of the day.

The biggest threat in the weather system is wind damage, Gardner said.

The rain will taper off on Friday by early evening before clearing the way for a beautiful weekend.

The sun returns for the weekend and warms central North Carolina into the mid-50s under mostly clear skies, ideal for any last-minute Christmas shopping. The same is in the forecast for Christmas Day: bright and sunny skies, with limited clouds and a brisk high of 52 degrees.

Christmas Eve will be similarly pleasant, with partly cloudy skies and a high around 55 degrees.