Strong wind gusts, thunderstorms arrive early Friday

Tornado Watch in effect for parts of North Carolina

EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA - We are tracking strong winds, thunderstorms and the potential for severe weather in parts of Eastern North Carolina for your Friday.  

A strong cold front will approach Eastern North Carolina today.  Two lines of thunderstorms are expected with this system.  The first is coming through this morning with another round set to arrive this afternoon.  Strong to severe storms are possible. 

Damaging wind gusts, small hail and excessive lighting are the main threats associated with this storm system.  An isolated tornado cannot be ruled

A Tornado Watch was in effect for parts of central North Carolina until 7 a.m. 

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Severe thunderstorms will persist for the South and East, while snow continues over the Great Lakes and rain moves into the Northeast.

A strong winter storm that brought blizzard conditions and heavy snows to the Plains and Upper Midwest will continue moving northeastward and into eastern Canada on Friday.

Flow around this system continues pushing a cold front eastward, and pulling moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico as well as the Atlantic Ocean. This will allowing for showers and thunderstorms to develop from the Gulf states, up the East Coast, and into the Northeast.

If severe thunderstorms develop, they will most likely be contained to the Southeast from the northern Florida through the coast of the Carolinas. The northern side of this system will create heavy rain showers for the Northeast throughout the day, with lighter and more widespread snow showers persisting for the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest.
Behind this system, high pressure builds over the Western states and the Plains, allowing for dry and mild conditions to the rest of the nation. However, a weak disturbance over the Northern Rockies and slides southward into the Central Rockies throughout the day.

This will kick up a few widespread snow and rain showers. In the Northwest, a low pressure system spinning in the Gulf of Alaska pushes a trough of low pressure and associated cold front toward the Pacific Northwest.

As this system approaches the coastal areas, expect increasingly cloudy skies and chances of showers by Friday evening.

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