EASTERN N.C. - THREAT ALERT: A Tornado Watch is in effect for Eastern Carolina until 5 a.m. It means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes, but it's not guaranteed they will be formed.
The Tornado Watch that is in effect for all of Eastern Carolina was issued at 11:55 p.m. Wednesday and will last until 5:00 a.m. Thursday.
It is a bit unnerving, as the wind is blowing from the south at 25-35 mph and gusting at 35-45 mph, making it difficult to sleep and causing some pitching of mobile homes or houses.
I am tracking a line of rain and thunderstorms. But these are not regular thunderstorms that build up through the sky. They are shorter and tend to produce very strong wind gusts, up to 65 mph, and very little thunder or lightning. The line is just east of Raleigh, down to east of Fayetteville, and is moving our way.
A band of light rain is moving over Robersonville to Greenville to Kinston to Richlands. But the heavy rain and stronger winds will not get here until at least 2:00 a.m. Thursday. So far, the biggest damage has been from downed trees falling on power lines and even on some houses in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area. The same kind of damage has been reported in Raleigh and Fayetteville, so the potential is there for us to see that kind of damage as well later.
We are cloudy, windy and warm this Wednesday evening across the east. I have been tracking a powerful weather system that is moving across west central NC at the 10 o'clock hour.
This is a relatively narrow line of rain with a few thunderstorms that is moving quickly to the east. There have been severe thunderstorm warnings in the Winston-Salem and Greensboro areas with the primary damage being downed trees and power outages. This system is really packing strong sustained winds and even stronger wind gusts.
Our real weather action begins around midnight as we track this system as it moves across our area from west to east. A narrow line of rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will accompany that system and will likely put down ½ to ¾ inch of rain.
I'm alerting you to the fact that it will be windy all evening with sustained winds of 15-25 mph and gusts of 25-35 mph. As that line of rain/storms crosses the wind will get even stronger running steady at 25-35 and gusting 45-55 mph possibly even up to 65 mph. Straight line winds that strong can produce pretty serious damage particularly if it blows trees down on top of houses.
The line of rain/storms and strong wind gusts will cross quickly…probably between midnight and 4:00am.
Low temps should only drop to 50-54 degrees in the rain cooled air.
StormTrack 12 Meteorologists will continue to track this storm system and alert you to any potential dangers.