Raleigh, N.C. — Moisture associated with a passing upper level disturbance combined with temperatures near 100 degrees Friday afternoon to produce strong thunderstorms for the third consecutive day across several counties in central North Carolina.
A line of thunderstorms formed north of the Triangle around 4 p.m. and moved slowly from northeast to southwest across Vance, Granville, Orange, Durham, Chatham, Wake, Johnston, Nash, Franklin and Wilson counties before weakening around 7:30 p.m.
The storms, which included heavy rain, strong winds, hail and numerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, sparked several severe thunderstorm warnings in numerous counties.
One of the larger cells that moved across western Wake, Durham and Chatham counties dumped heavy rain and large hail in Cary and Apex, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.
"Our storms developed later today than they did Thursday, but they still packed a punch," Maze said. "They plowed through and then quickly died out as they moved to the south."
Lightning sparked at least three minor fires, one at a home on Legendary Lane in Morrisville, another at a home on Kings Castle Drive in Apex and a third at a house on Carterwood Court in Cary, authorities said. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
The storms also snared the Friday evening commute in southern Wake County, as downed power lines on U.S. Highway 1 created a traffic headache for several hours near Ten-Ten Road.
Storms could fire again Saturday afternoon as temperatures once again top out over the 100-degree mark, but the chances for severe weather are slim, Maze said.