Raleigh, N.C. — Severe thunderstorms washed through the Triangle Thursday afternoon, prompting warnings in 18 counties.
Heavy rain began in the 4 o'clock hour, impeding visibility for late afternoon drivers and bringing the possibility of flash floods.
Raleigh police briefly closed the intersection of New Bern Avenue and Raleigh Road where water swamped the intersection and cars had stalled. Interstate 40 westbound in Wake County was closed at Harrison Avenue (Exit 287) for about 30 minutes, but it had not been determined if weather was a factor.
Wind gusts of up to 58 mph and quarter-sized hail accompanied the storms.
Storms remain in the forecast through the evening. "There will be rain in the area for at least another two to three hours," said WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel.
Storms could pop up again Friday afternoon, but they will stay east of the Interstate 95 corridor. "Most of our area will be rain-free for Friday night football," Fishel said.
The chance for rain returns Saturday, but by Sunday skies will have cleared for an "absolutely gorgeous" finish to the weekend, Fishel said.