Severe weather moves out; ideal weekend weather on the way
Posted March 31
Raleigh, N.C. — Another line of thunderstorms will march through the Triangle Friday afternoon right around the evening rush hour, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.
"After that, the weekend looks great," Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
An arriving cold front prompted the National Weather Service to post a tornado watch just before 4 p.m. for counties along the North Carolina-Virginia border including Granville, Vance and Person counties through 10 p.m.
Just before 5 p.m., a severe thunderstorm was blowing wind gusts up to 60 mph and dropping quarter-sized hail north of Henderson. The storm was advancing west to east at about 40 mph with communities around Kerr Lake and Lake Gaston facing the possibility of minor wind damage to roofs, siding and trees.
"The expiration time is 10 p.m., but that is for Elizabeth City," Fishel explained.
"Once this line passes your community, the threat for severe storms will be over," he said.
In the Triangle, there is only a slights chance of any thunderstorms reaching the severe threshold, with the worst of the weather passing through the area between 5 and 6 p.m.
The front fueling was forecast to arrive over the Triangle beginning around 4 p.m.
"We should be in the clear by about 7 p.m.," Maze said.
The weekend forecast calls for highs into the 70s under partly cloudy skies.
"The weather could not be more perfect" for participants Sunday morning in the Rock 'n' Roll marathon and half-marathon, Fishel said.
Morning commute slowed by thunderstorms
Early morning storms and showers caused traffic headaches for many on the way to work, and commuters could see a repeat on their return trip Friday evening.
The morning storms didn't produce any damaging weather, though vehicle crashes were reported around the region.
The bulk of the rain had cleared by noon, and Friday afternoon let the sun shine through.
That warming could be the trigger that makes afternoon storms worse, Maze said.
"We heat up the surface, and that destabilizes the atmosphere, it creates more lift and energy, and it may help some thunderstorms to redevelop this afternoon," he said.
The rain is good for the Raleigh area, where lower-than-normal rainfall has plagued the region in March. Erwin topped one inch of rainfall in the last 48 hours, and Rocky Mount nearly saw 1.5 inches.