July 10, 2008

Thunderstorms to Continue Through Today; Weekend Looking Sunny

By Cindy Clayton and John Warren, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va.

Jul. 10--Thunderstorms could continue through today, but the National Weather Service is predicting clear skies for the weekend.

The first break in rain likely will come Friday, when there is only a 20 percent chance of precipitation, said Tony Siebers, a meteorologist with the weather service office in Wakefield.

Today, there is a 50 percent chance of rain. Looking ahead to the weekend, Siebers says both Saturday and Sunday should be clear.

A hazardous weather statement issued this morning for eastern North Carolina warns that scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon with the potential to produce up to three inches of rain that could flood low-lying areas in several counties, including Washington, Tyrrell and Mainland Dare.

And while Hurricane Bertha is expected to stay at sea, the weather service was warning that increased swells from the storm could lead to a moderate threat of rip currents from Cape Hatteras to Cape Lookout. The risk of rip currents at Virginia Beach is expected to be low.

Today's high is expected to be about 84 with a low in the low 70s. Wednesday's high in South Hampton Roads was 81 degrees.

Several days of rains have quieted fire and smoke activity from the Great Dismal Swamp fires, according to a spokesman for the multi-departmental team fighting the fire.

The moisture has prevented the fire from spreading, but deep pockets of burning peat will continue to produce heat and smolder until there's a lot more rain, spokesmen for the South One firefighting team said.

The fire, which started June 9, is now burning over 4,664 acres. A team of 179 are fighting the blaze.

Rains have kept smoke from the fires at bay and air quality today is expected to be good, or code green, according to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Little or no smoke is expected today in northeastern North Carolina, according to environmental officials there. Air quality may be unhealthy for people with heart or lung conditions in mainland Dare County.

John Warren, (757) 446-2309, [email protected]

Cindy Clayton, (757) 446-2377, [email protected]


To see more of the The Virginian-Pilot, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.pilotonline.com.

Copyright (c) 2008, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.