Raleigh, N.C. — Daytime highs in the low 90s once again fueled showers and thunderstorms across central and eastern North Carolina Wednesday afternoon and evening, continuing a "bumpy" weather pattern that is going nowhere fast.
A line of strong to severe thunderstorms marked by damaging wind gusts, large hail, heavy rainfall and cloud-to-ground lightning rolled into the Triangle and Sandhills around 7:30 p.m., prompting severe thunderstorm warnings for a cluster of counties, including Cumberland, Harnett, Lee, Hoke and Moore.
The fast-moving system was marked by a particularly ominous shelf cloud, as well as an outflow that made some clouds appear to be swirling, said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze. But that type of rotating cloud is not related to a funnel cloud.
Powerful wind gusts knocked out power to more than 1,800 Duke Energy Progress customers in Wake County and 1,200 in Moore County, but no property damage was reported.
The heat of the day, which reached 91 degrees with a heat index of 96 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, helped to feed to storms, which are expected to die down overnight.
But storms will pop up again Thursday with a more organized disturbance that could create a squall line during the afternoon and evening.
"Get used to this pattern, because it's going to be with us for the next several days," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
On Tuesday afternoon, storms that included heavy rain and damaging wind gusts downed trees, limbs and power lines in Lee County, knocking out power to more than 2,000 people.