Warrenton, N.C. — The conditions that sparked a tornado warning Wednesday afternoon for Moore and other counties had weakened by 3 p.m., but the eastern half of North Carolina was under the threat of severe thunderstorms through the evening.
Moore and adjacent counties were under a tornado warning for about 30 minutes. The National Weather Service issued the warning just before 2:30 p.m. after radar indicated a tornado over Norman, or 13 miles southeast of Troy. The storm moved out of eastern Montgomery at 20 mph.
Emergency management officials in Richmond County said they had seen extremely high winds, heavy rain and hail but had no reports of damage as the storm moved through. Moore County emergency management had no damage reports as of 6 p.m.
Weather conditions ripe for storms
A cold front passing over central North Carolina combined with high temperatures in the low 90s on Wednesday afternoon, created conditions conducive to isolated severe weather, said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.
The eastern half of the state was under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10 p.m. Eastern North Carolina has an elevated risk for severe weather, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
"We're not expecting a widespread tornado outbreak," said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze. "We are expecting thunderstorms, some of which could be severe."
Clear, cooler days on the way
Skies will clear Thursday as the cold front moves out, allowing temperatures to climb back into the mid-90s Friday and Saturday.
"We're going to be nice and quiet Thursday, and then we're going to see those mid-90s return for the last couple of days of the week," Gardner said. "But we actually have a cooling trend on the way that will impact a lot of the country."
By Sunday and early next week, temperatures will dip into the 60s overnight and top out in the mid-80s in the afternoon.