Behind the storm

1227 Storm Explained

Eastern Carolina - The set up for severe weather on December 26th had meteorologists across eastern Carolina on their toes. Fast winds screaming high off the ground were waiting to mix down to the surface.

As early as mid afternoon thunderstorms began rolling onshore, sparked by a strong low pressure storm system sliding up the coast. Many of these storms had rotation, only three had rotation strong enough for the National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning.

These shore-ramming storms were one of the reasons this December system was anything but ordinary. Most tornadoes are kicked up in the west and track towards the coast. 

But what makes this storm system even more rare, is the fact that it produced a confirmed tornado. The last December tornado for eastern Carolina occurred decades ago.

"We don't get a whole lot of December tornadoes. Carteret County the last December tornado we had was almost 50 years ago December 3rd, of 1967." said Les Still.

The reason this December storm was not as severe as it could have been was the rain. If any sunshine had blazed through in the late afternoon, much stronger storms could have brought down racing straight line winds.

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