EASTERN CAROLINA - The Tornado Watch for Eastern Carolina has expired.
There were no tornadoes reported in Eastern Carolina Wednesday. However, the National Weather Service did report 60 mph wind gusts in Greenville and Jacksonville, as well as a waterspout off shore of Salter Path in Carteret County.
There were no reports of damage.
Several Eastern Carolina counties previously under a Tornado Watch are now in the clear. But the Tornado Watch remains in effect for some areas.
According to the National Weather Service, the only counties in our coverage area still under the Tornado Watch are BERTIE, DARE, HYDE and TYRRELL.
The Tornado Watch will expire at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
There is a TORNADO WATCH in effect until 7 p.m. Wednesday for the far northern parts of eastern North Carolina.
This includes the following counties: BEAUFORT, BERTIE, CHOWAN, DARE, EDGECOMBE, HYDE, MARTIN, NASH, PITT, TYRRELL, WASHINGTON and WILSON.
That means that while there have been no reports of tornadoes in or around our area Wednesday afternoon, the conditions are still favorable for the development of strong storms that could produce tornadoes.
I am tracking a line of strong thunderstorms across Onslow, Jones, Lenior, Carteret and Greene Counties that will produce strong gusty winds, some hail and worst of all, very heavy rainfall that will make flooding one of our biggest issued as we move through the afternoon and evening.
That flooding problem will be greatest around the Contentnea Creek as it runs between Lenoir and Greene counties. The creek is already at bankfull and forecast to get up to about 15 feet by this weekend. Just be aware that this particular area of flooding will put some water up into the roadways on the south side of the creek in Lenoir County.
The heavy rainfall will also cause some local flooding issues for roads that don't drain off rain well, and for drainage ditches that are still full from Tuesday night's heavy rainfall.
Generally, I do not expect as much (or as intense) storm activity Wednesday afternoon and evening as we have seen over the past two days. Still, you will need to be alert for passing strong storms with heavy rainfall, wind gusts up to 60 mph, and the possibility of some large hail.
The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch Wednesday for Eastern Carolina.
The Tornado Watch will be in effect until 7 p.m. Wednesday for the following counties in our coverage area:
BEAUFORT... BERTIE... DARE... EDGECOMBE... HYDE... MARTIN... PITT... TYRRELL... WASHINGTON....WILSON.
A Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area.
The deadly storm system we have tracked across the Deep South the last couple days will impact Eastern Carolina Wednesday through Thursday.
The time frame is between 2 p.m. west of Highway 258 and 10 p.m. east of Highway 17. Unlike the severe weather on Tuesday, there will be a better chance Wednesday evening of the storms moving east towards the coast.
The greatest danger for the severe storms comes from the combination of ingredients which could bring heavy rain, damaging wind, and even more tornadoes to our region Wednesday.
This is because of the way the jet stream is configured around this storm. The jet stream is a ribbon of fast moving air that is between 25,000 and 35,000 feet aloft. The job it does in severe weather production is to act as a vacuum. It helps pull more air from the low levels of the atmosphere into the upper levels, which in turn helps develop strong updrafts in thunderstorms.
It also can cause these thunderstorms to begin spinning, which then produces tornadoes. The combination of the jet stream, high dew point air, and a couple upper disturbances passing through will all combine to produce severe storms across parts of Eastern Carolina.
The primary threats again look to be damaging wind gusts, large hail, isolated tornadoes and heavy rainfall. That heavy rainfall potential could pose a problem for the northern and western counties of Martin, Pitt, Greene and Lenoir, which had several inches of rain Tuesday with widespread flooding reported. Additional rainfall Wednesday could result in more significant flash flooding problems.
By Thursday, the jet stream will move off the coast, taking the greatest severe threat with it. However, there could still be heavy rain and gusty winds with storms that continue, especially east of Highway 17.
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