EASTERN CAROLINA -

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for Eastern Carolina.

According to the National Weather Service, the watch will be in effect until 8 p.m. Thursday for the following counties in our viewing area:

Beaufort, Bertie, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Wayne, Wilson.

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The taste of summer that we have been enjoying since late last week will come to an end overnight as a cold front crosses.

That front is working across western North Carolina Thursday morning and will slowly track eastward through the day. Areas west of I-95 have the biggest threat for severe weather during the daylight hours on Thursday. Meanwhile, clouds from the storms to our west will thicken up as we go through the day. Since we are still in that tropical air mass ahead of the front, we can expect another warm and humid afternoon in spite of the increasing clouds.

The heavy rain from this cold front will begin to impact eastern Carolina after midnight. With the flow of moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, heavy rainfall with poor drainage flooding and ponding on the roadways is a threat for our Friday morning commute. So is the potential for damaging wind gusts more than 50 mph as stronger winds from the jet stream aloft could get mixed down with some of the stronger storms. Because the system will be affecting us overnight, that is actually a positive for limiting the severity potential. Since the sun isn’t out, it can’t add to the instability and therefore the storms will be somewhat weaker.

The front will move off the coast by around noon Friday, taking the heavy rain with it. By the afternoon on Friday, we’ll see clearing sweep from west to east across the area.

If you are heading out to the Cherry Point Air Show this weekend, expect dry and cooler weather as a cool Canadian high pressure will be in control of our weather. But take along the sun block as that dry air will allow the strong May sun to give you a burn quickly!