Tornado watches cover eight counties in central NC

Posted April 27, 2011

— Tornado watches were in effect in several counties Wednesday night, after scattered, pop-up storms fueled by moisture showered on central North Carolina throughout the afternoon. More widespread severe weather is possible Thursday.

Alamance, Franklin, Person, Vance, Granville, Warren, Durham and Orange counties were under a tornado watch until 2 a.m. Thursday.

Storm cells were popping up to the west Wednesday evening that could potentially strengthen overnight, said WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel.

"The atmosphere is primed right now for severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes," Fishel said.

He said the tornado threat is greatest around daybreak Thursday.

The threat comes from a storm system that has killed at least 25 people in Arkansas and Mississippi Radar Reflectivity iControl Interactive Doppler Radar and is heading for North Carolina.

"We do think the system will be losing its tornado potential as it moves eastward," Fishel said, adding that there is a still a chance of isolated tornadoes overnight and Thursday morning.

Thursday's storms are expected to produce straight-line winds and large hail, which can cause significant damage to homes, especially those already battered by last week's tornadoes, Fishel said.

After the cold front passes by, a stretch of calmer weather follows to finish out the week.

"Over the weekend, we can relax a bit – less humid, very pleasant temperature-wise, upper 70s Friday and Saturday and mid 80s Sunday, sunny," Gardner said. "Just nice and quiet."


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  • MakoII Apr 28, 2011


    That's a silly and simple answer that really predicts nothing.

    It's HARD to take the Sun and sunspots and flare, the earth rotations and temperature, and seasonal patterns to pattern-mathc and mathematically predict what has and what may be coming up.

    It's easy to say "The Silkworm loves you and it's all perfect and it's all gonna work out, Mommy will hug you". Makes you feel warm inside, but ZERO predictive capacity and ZERO explanation of what's happened and why.

  • shortcake53 Apr 27, 2011

    We have to remember that storms have been bad here forever, we just didnt have the technology to forcast the severity before. Now that we can, it seems much more ominous. I have been here for 50 years and remember some doozies.

  • Skywatch_NC Apr 27, 2011

    March through May is typically a severe weather season for NC. And then a secondary severe weather season which can occur in the Fall. NWS has confirmed there were 28 tornadoes reported in NC on April 16th which is the state's highest tornado count for 1 day alone if I recall correctly.

  • oceancandle Apr 27, 2011

    I've lived here all my life too, which is a few months shy of 50 years and I've never seen weather like this! I also live in Sanford and like so many others in this area I'm sure, I kind of felt safe because nothing like this ever seems to happen here. After seeing all this destruction (and so very close to my home) you can bet I'll pay attention to the weather alerts for now on, I don't care if they're 100% wrong in the end. Better safe than sorry!

  • soapbox Apr 27, 2011

    @phyllisjernigan: You might want to hang on to your *sighs* over the naivete of us "newcomers" for a little longer. Tornadoes of the quantity and quality of 4/16 are extremely rare in NC. NC averages 19 tornadoes per year. On 4/16 we had more than 60. Normally, NC tornadoes tend to be weaker and more short-lived than those we saw on 4/16. April is not typically a severe weather month. By any standards, this year's storms have been atypical. And it's still only April.

  • 6079 SMITH W Apr 27, 2011

    Well yes, don't remember an outbreak of tornadoes like this because officially it has never happened before. That's the catch with our weather here, as I'm sure you'll agree. We can get just about everything here in the Tar Heel State, and often do. Is it getting worse, from the perspective of life-long residents? It sure seems like it. Those liberal scientists say the climate is CHANGING, (not just warming or cooling for a given area) but this has been widely dismissed by the nutty fringe as a political agenda of sinister motives to destroy conservatism in America. I have experienced everything from sub-zero temperatures to well over one hundred degrees, hurricanes, tropical storms, two-foot snowfalls, waterspouts, tornadoes, floods, drought, and even some of the most perfect weather imaginable....but I ain't leavin'....I like it here, it's home. At least we don't have volcanoes......YET. ;)

  • fifefan4life Apr 27, 2011

    We do not know why God allows these storms or why he takes some lives and not others. But I do know that His plan is perfect, and He does all things for good to those who love Him. Those children are with Him now in paradise. For God so loved the people of the world, that He sent His son to die for our sins so that whoever trusts in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life with Him in paradise!

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Apr 27, 2011

    And the sensationalism continues. Tornados possible for the morning rush y'all. So, right after you fill up at the discounted $4 a gallon price, think about which route you'll take from the pump to the job.

  • SeaDog Apr 27, 2011

    Should it be any big surprise that the world is in such terrible shape, that a discussion about the weather (for crying out loud!) can turn ugly?? You don't look any further than these discussions boards.

    Whatever happened to RESPECT and common DECENCY??

  • Butterfly Apr 27, 2011

    @letssee: You know what, I am not going to explain it. I simply believe in god. I am very grateful for still being alive and for not having lost anything. You believe what you believe and I will continue to pray.