18 NC counties are under alert, including Wake, Cumberland, Johnston, Wayne, and Harnett counties. Details
Published: 2009-05-06 08:57:00
Updated: 2009-05-06 23:14:51
Posted May 6, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — The main brunt of showers and storms were expected overnight as an upper level disturbance crosses the region. There is the potential for some storms to become severe with damaging downburst winds, isolated tornadoes and large hail. The greatest danger from this storm system appears to be north and west of Raleigh.
"Overnight, we are in the risk area for strong to severe storms," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. "You could also still see a storm during the morning commute."
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for parts of central North Carolina until 4 a.m.
"It is likely southern Virginia will have the greatest threat overnight," Maze said.
As rain and winds whipped up again late Wednesday, several viewers sent in photos of what appeared to be funnel clouds in Orange and Durham counties.
Severe thunderstorms were spotted on the radar near the border of Wayne, Johnston and Wilson counties.
Thunderstorms over Sampson and Cumberland counties produced wind gusts of up to 30 mph and dangerous lightning strikes. In Edgecombe County, downed trees and power lines were reported.
Mobile home residents are especially vulnerable to tornadoes. If a tornado warning has been issued, mobile home residents should get to a pre-arranged shelter immediately.
At schools, the safest part of the building is in the hallway with no windows. Office workers are urged to get under something sturdy, like a desk or table.
Drivers who see a tornado forming or approaching should leave the car and take shelter in a ditch or some other low-lying area.
For those at home, the safest place is in a basement. If there is not one available, they should go into a hallway or closet.