Afternoon storms 'pack a big punch,' cause delays at RDU

Posted June 22, 2012

— Temperatures in the mid-90s, moisture in the atmosphere and an approaching cold front kicked off strong to severe thunderstorms in central North Carolina Friday afternoon.

The storms "packed a big punch" with cloud-to-ground lightning, heavy rainfall and gusty winds, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

A line of thunderstorms crawled across the state throughout the day Friday, dumping very heavy rain on the Triad before making its way into the Triangle by late afternoon.

In and around Greensboro, flash floods reportedly left as much as 6 inches of water on some roadways, Maze said.

No flooding was reported in the Triangle area, but storms did cause wind damage to homes, power lines and other structures.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, severe weather up and down the East Coast was creating a headache for airlines, who had to cancel, delay, divert and reroute a very high volume of flights, airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer said.

Sawyer said he couldn't estimate how many flights were affected, but added that RDU was being slammed by diverted flights that couldn't land elsewhere.

Kim King, whose daughter's flight from New York was delayed three hours, said she wasn't bothered by a prolonged wait at the airport.

"I think if they delayed it, it's probably a good thing, if they felt like they were being cautious," she said. "We're just thankful that they make the right decisions."

Severe weather in the Triangle had moved east by 10 p.m., leaving light rain in its wake, but storms were hitting Greenville as the weather system continued along its path to the coast.

The chance for showers and thunderstorms is expected to "come back to life" Saturday, starting as early as 11 a.m., Maze said.

Hazy sunshine dominated during the first half of the day Friday as high temperatures climbed into the 90s for the third consecutive day. 

WRAL Severe Weather Weather Alerts

High temperatures will top out near 90 degrees Saturday and Sunday before falling back into the mid-80s to start the work week.

"Overnight lows could make it back into the upper 50s early next week, so we've got a little break from the heat on the way," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.


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  • Skywatch_NC Jun 22, 2012

    So far no rain here in the Wakefield area. Just some thunder, lightning and breeziness earlier.

  • bgerken Jun 22, 2012

    anyone know if the Bulls game tonight is being postponed? if so, until when?

  • unc70 Jun 22, 2012

    Most of you should have plenty of rain in a couple of hours. It's in Orange County now and heavy back past Greensboro. Parts of Chapel Hill got 1-2 inches Thursday and 0.5-1.0 on Tuesday; a mile away they were dry. Sort of like yesterday in Cary and parts of Raleigh. Today's storms have lightning, too.

    Expect your events will be canceled unless you are well east of Raleigh. Sorry.

    Be careful on the roads. If you are reading this while driving, STOP!

  • JennyB Jun 22, 2012

    My garden and lawn need it! Bring it!

  • earthsister Jun 22, 2012

    I love summer storms! Bring it! :)

  • itsmyownopinion Jun 22, 2012

    And Thomas,

    Just for complaining about keeping your shiny new car clean, I hope it suffers hail damage at some point this summer.

    jmf1073 4.0

    WOW! Just WOW!

  • shortcake53 Jun 22, 2012

    Would love to see a good downpour, just not anything severe to go with it.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 22, 2012

    Thomas - "Sick of trying to keep my new car clean,rain rain stay away.And for the forecast,they are only right 6 hours before anything happens.You can't predict mother nature and quit trying."

    The heck with your car. The farmers need rain.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 22, 2012

    Hoping for a heavy downpour. We've been doing ok here in Harnett so far, but noticed today the corn is starting to get scorched which spells bad things for farmers.

  • njacobs317 Jun 22, 2012

    jmf1073 4.0
    Do you also shower with your clothes on?