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Heavy, cold rain could be headed for NC this weekend, thanks to Hurricane Ian

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Tom Bedard, AccuWeather's business preparedness specialist, breaks down the things you need to know to be prepared for Ian.

Forecasters say Winston-Salem and other parts of central North Carolina are looking at the potential for heavy rains this weekend with the approaching landfall of Hurricane Ian in Florida.

Most county high schools already are rescheduling football games to Thursday night in anticipation of those rains.

Meteorologist Phil Badgett with the National Weather Service office in Raleigh said Monday that people in the Triad have the rest of the week to keep an eye on the storm as it approaches Florida from the south.

“It would probably be Friday before we would see any effects of the storm,” Badgett said. “Just kind of keep an eye on it.”

At 8 p.m. Monday, the storm was about 130 miles south of Cuba, with a track that put the eye of the hurricane somewhere on the Florida Gulf coast between Thursday and Friday, depending on where the storm goes.

Just how much uncertainty still remained about the storm was evidenced by a National Weather Service forecast map released Monday night that included the entire states of Georgia and South Carolina in the cone of where the storm center might be by 2 p.m. Saturday.

That same map showed all of western North Carolina and most of central North Carolina, including Forsyth County, in that zone.

Winds here could blow in the range of 25 to 35 miles per hour if the storm makes it this way, but Badgett said heavy rains are a bigger threat than winds.

It’s always possible the storm could stall as it approaches Florida, Badgett said, but even if it does, it might still eventually arrive over parts of North Carolina and Virginia, he said.

Brent Campbell, speaking for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, said school officials had preliminary discussions on Monday about weather impacts on school activities, but said it was too early to predict any specific cancellations that might be needed.

And if there are cancellations, it is also much too early to say when anything might be rescheduled, he said.

With rain in the forecast, most Forsyth County high schools didn’t wait for more information, and moved their football games up to Thursday.

The following games will all take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, according to the Winston-Salem High School Athletics web page:

  • Community School of Davidson at Carver
  • West Forsyth at Glenn
  • High Point Andrews at North Forsyth
  • Reynolds vs. Parkland at Griffith Elementary
  • Southern Guilford at Atkins
  • Reagan at Davie County
  • Reidsville at Walkertown
  • Mountain Island Charter plays at Winston-Salem Prep at 7: 30 p.m.

As of Monday night, East Forsyth at Mount Tabor was still scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.

One factor that’s different from the typical storm pattern is that high pressure over the weekend is likely to make temperatures lower than one might expect with the arrival of a tropical system.

In other words, that rain will be cold, Badgett said.

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@wyoungWSJ

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