Strong Thunderstorms Move Over Wake County

Posted April 21, 2008

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— A strong thunderstorm, with a chance of hail and high winds, moved across Wake County Monday evening.

The Triangle area was not under a tornado watch, but viewer Susan Schwab sent WRAL a photo of what she thought was funnel cloud near Duke University Hospital in Durham.

WRAL weather producer Nate Johnson said the photo was of a "cold-air" funnel cloud, not a tornado funnel cloud.  

A cold-air funnel forms when a large spinning storm system circulates in the atmosphere. Cold air funnels are typically not strong enough to cause any damage, Johnson said.

The cloud was part of the same weather system that caused rain across the Triangle earlier Monday.

At 5:16 p.m., Doppler radar indicated a strong thunderstorm about 10 miles south of Raleigh, moving southwest at 15 mph.

The thunderstorms had prompted a warning in southwestern Johnston and Harnett counties.

The unsettled weather was expected to linger through Monday evening, keeping the chance of rain.

Tuesday was expected to be cooler and cloudy with light rain, WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Temperatures are warm up later in the week, with daytime highs in the upper 70s and low 80s Thursday and Friday.


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  • davashcow Apr 22, 2008

    I observed and videotaped this TORNADO for nearly thirty minutes from a hill in N. Durham. It had a hook echo and was adjacent to an area of convective activity. The lengths that journalists will go to in order to cover their shortcomings is despicable.

  • thinkfirsttypelater Apr 21, 2008

    I saw that cloud. I drove right by it, at about 5:10 on 15-501. It actually was kicking up debris on the ground briefly, and looked pretty tornadic to me, although weak. Pretty freaky.

  • ncguy38 Apr 21, 2008

    Isn't it funny how funnel clouds are only "cold core funnel clouds" and tornadoes are only "straightline winds" unless someone BESIDES a meteorologist says so?