Sunset brings return of spring storms

Posted March 20, 2012

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— Storms popped up in central North Carolina again late Tuesday afternoon, after morning thunderstorms sparked several house fires.

"A nice, mild, almost 80-degree afternoon" will give way to cloudier skies and a better shot at scattered showers and storms, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. Rainbow over Lake Crabtree Rainbows after the storm

A similar weather pattern will last for the rest of the week: off-and-on shots at showers and storms, warm temperatures in the upper 70s and partly cloudy skies.

"We'll be nice and quiet in terms of our temperatures, but almost summerlike in terms of those afternoon storms cropping up," Gardner said.

The chance for rain dies on Thursday and Friday but is expected to revive on Saturday.

Temperatures will take a gradual decline. By next Monday, the high is expected to be in the low 70s.

Tuesday is the first official day of spring. Temperatures normally hit daily highs in the mid 60s and lows in the 40s this time of year.

Earlier Tuesday, lightning flashed in the sky and heavy rain fell on roads just before the morning commute as storms passed through Wake and Durham counties on their way to southern counties. Later, rainbows shone over homes and highways throughout the Triangle.

Wake County emergency dispatchers said a lightning strike shortly before 7 a.m. caused a house fire in Morrisville, where firefighters said they had gotten dozens of calls about structure fires.

A family of three safely escaped a lightning-sparked fire at their Tayport Drive home in Cary. The family said they heard a boom and then a crackling sound a few minutes later.

Fuquay-Varina firefighters said lightning sparked minor blazes there, and there were also reports of house fires in Apex.


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  • USA Mar 21, 2012

    I just don't understand why the last few nights on the 10:00pm news Greg states the chance of Thunderstorm is 85 to90%, but the next day Elizabeth states theres a small chance of spotty showers and thunderstorms. This has been a real tough season for them to predict.

  • theSnarkRemarks Mar 21, 2012

    To nit-pick briefly... it's a little irksome when weather reporting refers to what's "normal" in NC. Average temps/precip are of limited use, because what's truly normal is for us to be significantly far off from the overall average in any given year.

    Though, it would be useful to know if "normal" refers to a simple avg mean temp, or what is most common. A median avg would be slightly more note-worthy.

    My gripe for the day. :)

  • jblake1932 Mar 20, 2012

    Not to bad, considering only a 10 percent chance given for the evening and overnite! Forecasting, baloney burgers!!

  • cwood3 Mar 20, 2012

    Americaeel-the whiners will be in full battle regalia after UNC looses to State Sunday!!

    On a more serious note, we need the rain. If you've not been out by Falls Lake or scene some of the farm ponds-WE NEED RAIN. I'll take spot showers, or a day long strong drizzle-or a t-storm(as long as no damage is done).

    We need the water-or the draught police will come back to haunt you Raleighites. Enjoy!! I'm on a well in JoCO (wife won't let me water grass-fear of drying up the well)!!

  • USA Mar 20, 2012

    A radar simply shows the radar beam bouncing off raindrops. It doesn't show lightning and since thunder is a sound it won't show that either. The more intense the rain is, the darker the colors are. But not all radars displays are the same. Like a speedtest of your bandwidth for your Internet connection, stick with the same speedtest site, establish a benchmark, and use it as a comparison to what is currently happening.

  • jblake1932 Mar 20, 2012

    Global swobal, it's all a bag of gas. Absolutley NO proof!

  • jblake1932 Mar 20, 2012

    Look at the bright side, it "could not rain" like yesterday and turn out to be a great day!

  • Ezekiel c23 v19to20 Mar 20, 2012

    Drove through the middle of it at about 6:30 this morning. Was very enjoyable. I love violent storms like that.

  • North Carolina Cutie Mar 20, 2012

    You guys are funny blame the President for everything even you not paying your bills. :)

  • North Carolina Cutie Mar 20, 2012

    I am glad you did not curse the storm God would not have been happy :). Be grateful for each day no matter how you wake or what wakes up.