Weather

Storms toss trees, hurl hail, tangle traffic

Posted April 24
Updated April 26

Storm spotter Robin Barfield shared this image from the Goldsboro area

— Clouds swirled and hail pounded communities across central and eastern North Carolina Friday afternoon as a cold front and warm front clashed, creating a dangerous weather situation.

Friday's weather was unusual in that storms were scattered across the state instead of progressing in a solid line, according to WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.

"Any of these storms are candidates to, at the very least, become severe and produce large hail if not produce tornadic activity," he said.

A warm, humid day saw temperatures build through midday into the 80s before storms began popping up.

At 1 p.m., the National Weather Service posted a tornado watch that covered the eastern half of the state. Those conditions, favorable for a tornado to form, continued until just after 8 p.m. The watch also signaled the severe storms to come.

That signal played out quickly in areas in the western edge of the Triangle – Alamance, Orange and Guilford counties – and in the Sandhills where winds whipped at 60 mph and hail piled up on yards and decks within an hour.

Those storms marched north and east, and sparked a round of tornado warnings in the northeast quadrant of the state just after 4 p.m. Trained weather spotters reported a funnel cloud and Ping-Pong-ball-sized hail in Wayne County.

A homeowner on Ida Road in Halifax County saw his roof blown off into nearby woods in the first batch of storms that swept through northeastern North Carolina between 4 and 5 p.m. A tornado was reported in Aventon, and storm spotters from Snow Hill to Goldsboro to Greenville and Wake Forest reported seeing threatening clouds and a lot of lightning. More than 1,000 customers were without power for some part of the afternoon and early evening.

East Carolina University, the City of Greenville and surrounding Pitt County also saw a tornado warning, and the campus urged students to take shelter just before 5 p.m.

As the storms rocked areas to the north, Fayetteville and Cumberland County skies cleared in time for the gates to open at the annual Fayetteville Dogwood Festival.

A second round of storms marched across the Triangle as commuters hit the road, creating delays on busy Friday afternoon roads. "It's really slow going because we have a lot of rain in spots," said WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson.

Traffic lights in Raleigh were out at several major intersections, including Atlantic Avenue and Six Forks Road, the Wake Forest interchange with Interstate 440 and Old Wake Forest and Falls of Neuse roads.

By dusk, the skies were clearing from west to east, and a pleasant weekend was expected to follow.

Saturday and Sunday promise highs in the upper 70s to near 80 degrees, mild evenings and overnight lows hovering in the mid-50s and clear or mostly clear, sunny skies.

20 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • zonk Apr 25, 11:37 a.m.

    You're on ! How much ? What the heck is brime ?

  • goode88 Apr 25, 12:11 p.m.

    So basically you have no idea what will happen between now and this evening.

  • Obamacare returns again Apr 25, 12:50 p.m.

    Looks like everything is swinging to the north of NC. Oh well, what's another few weeks with the pile of brime sitting at the end of my driveway.

    Folks, it might be a good time to consider conserving water as the non-events are going to begin piling up now.

  • norainonmyparade Apr 25, 1:03 p.m.

    You're on ! How much ? What the heck is brime ?

    — Posted by zonk

    it's what the willfully ignorant call "brine", which is a mixture of salt and water. Here it's referenced in terms of treating roadways, but it's also used in cooking, such as when a turkey breast is brined prior to roasting.

  • tobywilliamson1973 Apr 25, 1:29 p.m.

    For those who know not the definition of "brime". It's the mixture that the DOT sprays on the road during winter to help with traction for the vehicles. It is also used in various forms for soaking meat before cooking, and can be substituted for fertilizer, esp. on newly paved roads.

  • evadbbat Apr 25, 1:32 p.m.

    Strong winds and large hail possible.

  • rduwxboy Apr 25, 1:32 p.m.

    I wish WRAL could eliminate these same people who bring no good discussion to the table. I think it is innappropriate for the "brine" crowd to continue to denigrate the weather stories. This could be serious. Even if the radar doesnt have storms, all it takes is 1 to pop up and be destructive, and that is exactly what we have today.

  • carrboroyouth Apr 25, 2:06 p.m.

    Some hail in Carrboro

  • Help Us Apr 25, 2:20 p.m.

    For those who know not the definition of "brime". It's the mixture that the DOT sprays on the... View More

    — Posted by tobywilliamson1973

    "Brine" magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium chloride, and calcium magnesium acetate mixed with H2O

  • Obamacare returns again Apr 25, 2:44 p.m.

    For those who know not the definition of "brime". It's the mixture that the DOT sprays on the... View More

    — Posted by tobywilliamson1973

    Thank you Toby. At least someone has some common sense around here.

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