Published: 2014-04-05 15:53:00
Updated: 2014-04-07 17:18:50
Posted April 5, 2014
Updated April 7, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The eastern half of North Carolina is under an elevated risk for severe weather Monday night, with the small chance for damaging wind gusts, localized flooding and isolated tornadoes, according to WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.
Although most of the Triangle was only seeing spotty showers as the evening rush hour began, the rain and storm intensity will pick back up through the evening, Fishel said.
"Overall, the threat is not that grand," said WRAL meterologist Mike Maze. "But I don't want to rule anything out."
A low-pressure system moved in from the south and west, where it prompted tornado watches and warnings Sunday night. The system is packing plenty of precipitation, and more than 2 inches of rain had fallen across the region by noon Monday.
In Warrenton, authorities were investigating reports of downed trees and power lines after high winds blew through right before noon, but no damage was confirmed.
An afternoon break in the clouds will be followed by increasing rain through the evening, with the chance for some of those thunderstorms to become severe.
The greatest threat comes for communities to the south and east of Raleigh, Fishel said. The National Weather Service posted a tornado watch – indicating conditions were ripe for a tornado to form – for a clump of counties along the southeastern coast of North Carolina.
The chance for dangerous, high winds persists through the night, but it will be followed by a gradual clearing Tuesday.
Temperatures will stay in the high 60s and low 70s for most of the week with expected highs in the mid-70s next weekend.