63 NC counties and 1 VA county are under alert, including Wake, Cumberland, Durham, Johnston, and Orange counties. Details
Published: 2008-03-06 18:47:02
Updated: 2008-03-06 18:47:02
Posted March 6, 2008
By Nate Johnson
Tuesday night may have just been round one.
Two lines of thunderstorms raked across the area Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning with 70mph wind gusts and a few spots of hail. When it was all said and done, there were more than 100 reports of wind damage -- and a silver lining of widespread rainfall across the area. The luckiest spots picked up more than two inches of rainfall.
That storm system had lots of upper level energy and very fast winds aloft, but the atmosphere was not particularly unstable. That is, the upper level winds were not particularly colder than those here at the surface. Tomorrow night, though, we will have both of these pieces of the puzzle in place -- very strong winds aloft along with relatively cold air above warm air below. Since warm air is less dense, it will not take much to get it to rise, providing additional energy for the thunderstorms.
We should see plenty of cloudcover by daybreak Friday, with periods of rain beginning before lunchtime. Friday night, the surface low will move up from the Gulf of Mexico and blend with the winds aloft coming out from Texas, causing strong thunderstorms to form late Friday night into early Saturday morning. With all of this coming together, the Storm Prediction Center has placed us under a slight risk for severe weather Friday night, with a potential for strong, damaging winds and a few isolated tornadoes. The best chance for severe weather is overnight Friday night until daybreak Saturday morning; however, there may be enough energy in place as soon as Friday afternoon for some isolated severe weather then, too.
The good news is that the same silver lining from Tuesday's storm looks to be in place for Friday night. We could be in for another round of heavy -- and beneficial -- rainfall.