Raleigh, N.C. — A powerful winter storm that dumped snow on parts of the Midwest Monday will drench central North Carolina with rain Tuesday, possibly even whipping up strong to severe thunderstorms, forecasters say.
"Tuesday looks like a rainy and chilly day, but it's way too warm for us to see any snow," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
But there is an elevated risk for severe weather, including damaging winds and possible isolated tornadoes, for several eastern and southeastern counties.
"What may save us is a cold air damming event that's setting up for North Carolina, for the central part of the state, tonight," said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze. "That's where cold air is wedged in, and a lot of times it's hard to erode that cold air mass."
If the cold air mass doesn't erode, Maze said, the potential for severe weather will be confined to eastern and southeastern parts of the state, where temperatures will be slightly warmer.
Thunderstorms could hit the Triangle by lunchtime, though, dumping anywhere from three-quarters of an inch to about 2 inches of rain before moving out of the area by late afternoon, Fishel said.
With the ground already saturated from the weekend rainfall, it’s possible that small streams and tributaries will overflow.
Clearer skies and moderate temperatures finish out the work week before a dip back into the 40s for the weekend.