Weather

Severe weather pounds state

Posted November 14, 2008
Updated November 15, 2008

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— A strong storm cell moved through central North Carolina early Saturday, causing tornado warnings, severe weather and one death.

The last tornado warning expired at 5:15 a.m., while a tornado watch remained in effect for some central North Carolina counties until 8 a.m.

One death was reported in Wilson County as a result of the storm. The death occurred after a house was destroyed at 3850 London Church Road in Elm City. An unknown number of injuries were reported in Johnston County.

WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel described the storm as a “super cell” that maintained its intensity for about 80 miles. Around 5 a.m., after about two hours of tornado warnings and severe weather, the cell appeared to be weakening.

In Johnston, a law enforcement officer reported seeing a tornado at 2:48 a.m. about 4 miles east-southeast of Benson.

A possible tornado produced damage to homes in Lucama, Wilson and Elm City. Damage was also reported in Kenly.

Previous tornado warnings were issued for Bertie, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Johnston, Nash, Northampton Sampson, Johnston, Wilson and Wayne counties.

Damage to homes and barns was reported in Sampson, Johnston and Wilson counties.

The safest place to be during a tornado is on the lowest floor of the building in a small room such as a closet or bathroom or in an interior hallway.

Some parts of the area will see 3 to 4 inches of rain before the skies start to clear late Saturday. The weekend will start mostly cloudy and windy, with showers and storms likely. Highs will be in the upper 60s to low 70s.

After rain passes through the state, a cold front will move into the area by Saturday afternoon. "You can call next week a preview of winter," WRAL Meteorologist Mike Maze said, noting that by Wednesday the daytime highs will top out in the mid-40s. "We could see a low temperature of 25 degrees Wednesday morning."

"The big sun is back Sunday, but with cold," Maze said. The cold front will be a precursor to a pattern change in the atmosphere. Cold surge after cold surge is expected to hit the area next week.

Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said she expects temperatures to be well below normal Tuesday through Friday of next week.

17 Comments

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  • TeresaBee Nov 14, 2008

    Snow? You mean a foot of snow that we can travel in or do you mean a half inch of snow to get gridlock in and travel 7 hours home instead of the usual 10 mins.
    All kidding aside. We have not had any snow since that day.
    Will the new emergency plan be activated if we are all at work and school?

  • Steve Crisp Nov 14, 2008

    Will you people please quit saying that word snow. Oh no, I said it myself...

  • Hell-Raiser Nov 14, 2008

    all this cold weather and my cold weather gear shipment from when i was in Korea still hasn't gotten here yet. :(

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Nov 14, 2008

    We are due for a good snow this winter. But I believe the thunder/snow thing only works in the winter so don't get your hopes up too much...

  • agentm Nov 14, 2008

    Please let it snow let it snow!!!!!!!!!!!

  • FE Nov 14, 2008

    I've NEVER seen one of these things that Mike Maze described: "very small chance of an insolated tornado"

  • dogeatdog Nov 14, 2008

    We had the oddest t-storm in Goldsboro around noon. The lightning was INTENSE..I have lived here 35 years and am a SKYWARN spotter and I cannot remember lightning so vividly sharp and thunder so loud, especially during the daytime. After about 15 minutes of this..the lightning stopped and the wind blew a little (20-25 mph), then it poured rain and there was a little more lightning, not nearly as intense. Just odd to have lightning, then wind, then rain and lightning. Since yesterday I've had about an inch in my rain gauge. As for snow, I refuse to get my hopes up..this is North Carolina..lol;

  • LOC Nov 14, 2008

    I want some SNOW this season!!! LET IT SNOW!!!!

  • iamrunningalong Nov 14, 2008

    I think the 'thunder then 10 days later snow' rule only applies once "winter" has officially started. Not in Fall. :( I am so hoping for snow too - like 2 feet of it!!!!!!!!!

  • RICKJAMES Nov 14, 2008

    Time to get the firewood up!

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