Weather

Tornado watches canceled; Wilson opens storm shelter

Posted April 30, 2014

All of central and eastern North Carolina is under an elevated risk for severe weather on Wednesday as a powerful cold front with a history of producing tornadoes and deadly weather moves through the state.

6:26 p.m. - Flash flood watches were canceled for Orange, Lee, Wilson, Nash, Johnston, Harnett, Franklin, Durham, Wayne, Vance, Person, Halifax, Edgecombe, Warren, Sampson, Moore, Hoke, Granville, Cumberland and Alamance counties.

4:57 p.m. - The tornado watch has been canceled for Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash and Wilson counties.

4:05 p.m. - The tornado watch has been canceled for Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties. The watch is still in effect for Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash and Wilson counties until 7 p.m.

3:32 p.m. - All lanes of I-40 East have reopened between Rock Quarry and Jones Sausage roads in Raleigh. Police had closed some lanes due to flooding.

3:20 p.m. - A shelter has opened for those flooded out of homes and businesses in Wilson County. Food, snacks, water and cots are available at the Wilson Rescue Squad building, 1902 S. Tarboro St. The shelter is pet-friendly.

2:56 p.m. - Raleigh police have closed some of the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 between Rock Quarry and Jones Sausage roads (near the I-40 and I-440 split) due to flooding. Drivers traveling east on I-40 should expect delays in that area due to traffic congestion.

2:44 p.m. - Viewer Tom Perez reports standing water and flooding in the left lane of Interstate 40 East at Crabtree Creek near Harrison Avenue.

2:13 p.m. - Durham Public Schools has canceled after-school athletic activities (practices and games) Wednesday due to the threat of inclement weather. All other after-school care, programs, etc. are still scheduled, school officials said.

1:15 p.m. - The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for several counties in central North Carolina, including Franklin, Granville, Vance, Warren, Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash and Wilson. The watch is in effect until 7 p.m. Wednesday.

1:05 p.m. - Wake County schools have canceled all after-school events for Wednesday due to the threat of severe weather. 

12:30 p.m. - Storms continue to fire across the Triangle, including in Wake, Chatham, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland and Hoke counties. 

Storms are drifting north-northeast, and they include heavy rain, frequent lightning and gusty winds. 

A large area of storms in South Carolina will move into the southern Coastal Plain in the next several hours. 

12 p.m - Thunderstorms are beginning to pop across the Triangle, although none of them have generated any severe weather or tornadoes. 

"We're starting to see a line of storms develop, which is what some models have suggested for the last couple of days," WRAL's Elizabeth Gardner said. "We're going to have to watch these storms closely over the next couple of hours."

The National Weather Service said numerous storms with heavy rain will track repeatedly over the Triangle area and Wake County through 3 p.m. A flash flood watch is in effect for the entire area until early Thursday.

Gov. Pat McCrory warned North Carolina residents about the possibility of more severe weather Wednesday afternoon. 

"It is important for folks to stay tuned to local weather reports because another round is expected to hit later today," he said in a statement. "Safety should be everyone's top priority."

11:26 a.m. - Based on pictures, damage reports and radar, the National Weather Service said Wednesday that three tornadoes touched down Tuesday afternoon in Cumberland, Sampson and Edgecombe counties.

The twisters touched town in Stedman, Salemburg and Conetoe, officials said. Final damage assessments and reports may not be completed for all three storms until Thursday. 

Edgecombe County officials said Wednesday that 12 to 15 homes along Mooring Road received minor damage. Several barns in the area also lost roofs, officials said.

10:30 a.m.  - Edgecombe County schools will close at noon Wednesday, officials announced. Wayne County schools will also close early, officials said.

9:49 a.m. - Official in Johnston and Harnett counties have canceled all after school activities on Wednesday due to the threat of severe weather.

7:37 a.m. - Wilson County schools will be closed Wednesday, officials announced.

6:42 a.m. - The National Weather Service has canceled a tornado warning for Granville and Vance counties. It was originally scheduled to expire at 7 a.m. 

The storm is headed into Mecklenburg County, Va. It first generated tornado warnings before 7 a.m.

6:35 a.m. - Authorities in Henderson and Oxford are reporting no major damage from a tornado-warned storm that was moving through Granville and Vance counties.

The storm was approaching the Virginia border and will move into Mecklenburg County before 7 a.m.

6:20 a.m. - The tornado-warned storm has cleared the downtown Oxford area and is moving into the northern sections of Granville County. 

6:10 a.m. - The National Weather Service has extended a tornado warning for Granville County and issued one for Vance County until 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The storm was moving through Oxford at 6:12 a.m. and will move into northeastern Granville County and the northwestern half of Vance County. 

"The storm is looking like it's headed up the N.C. Highway 15 corridor in the next 20 to 30 minutes," WRAL's Elizabeth Gardner said.

6 a.m. - The storm is southeast of Oxford and still moving north and east at about 30 mph.

"This storm is continuing to move right up the I-85 corridor," WRAL's Mike Moss said. "We still have the rotation in this storm, and it is dumping some heavy, heavy rain." 

5:45 a.m. - The strongest part of the tornado-warned thunderstorm will move just east of Butner and west of Creedmoor within the next 5 to 10 minutes. Hester and Stem are also in the path of the storm as it moves into Granville County.

The National Weather Service has canceled the tornado warning for Durham and Wake counties.

5:38 a.m. - The storm is moving into southwestern Granville County and headed toward Butner and Creedmoor.

5:28 a.m. - The National Weather Service has extended its tornado warning for Durham County and also issued a tornado warning for southern Granville County and northwestern Wake County until 6:15 a.m.

The storm was moving northeast at 35 mph at 5:30 a.m., heading through northeastern Durham County near the Granville County line along I-85.

5:20 a.m. - There has been no ground truth regarding the tornado-warned storm in Durham County, but the warning remains active as the storm heads north toward downtown Durham.

The storm has crossed I-40 and was moving up N.C. Highway 55, Gardner said.

The National Weather Service has canceled the warning for Orange County as the storm has moved north into Durham County.

4:53 a.m. - The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Chatham, Orange and Durham counties shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The storm was moving north of Pittsboro and into southern Durham County at 5:10 a.m. It is moving north-northeast at 25 mph.

"The storm will be crossing Interstate 40 and moving into the Durham area," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "It will be in Durham at about 5:25 a.m."

13 Comments

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  • WralCensorsAreBias Apr 30, 2014

    All clear.

  • Don Dickerson Apr 30, 2014
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    My guess would be the amount of lightning related to a "new" cell just lends itself to the fieriest term possible.
    Anyone still think the sandhills/western Peidmont area will develop anything else until the cold front(s) make it here? To be wide open under the warm front like that area now is, dewpoints really aren't moving much. I'd hate for NoMore to be right by default (IE: lack of any triggering mechanisms).

  • tobywilliamson1973 Apr 30, 2014

    I wonder why they use the word "firing" when thunderstorms develop? The word "develop" sounds a bit more professional I think.

  • Don Dickerson Apr 30, 2014
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    The storms along the SC coast did a very interesting thing and unified into a line which is now bowing along the coast and could be trouble for Southport and Wilmington soon. I'm really not expecting anything like that with these storms in central NC.

  • rduwxboy Apr 30, 2014

    Tremendous amount of lightning and thunder here in Downtown Raleigh. It has Ben pouring hard now for almost an hour and a half and the radar is lit up for the county. Certainly likely to be some flooding here in Raleigh soon.

  • Obamacare returns again Apr 30, 2014

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    Lol! The threat has shifted to the northwest of where it was yesterday.

  • Don Dickerson Apr 30, 2014
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    Um, no. Just no.

  • Don Dickerson Apr 30, 2014
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    According to a graphic from the NWS, the now infamous warm front extends from Rockingham to Durham to north of Roanoke Rapids. So this current mass of storms around Wake, Durham, Granville, Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Moore Counties certainly deserves attention. On a scale of cats vs. toddlers, I'm a cat in a roomful of 10-month-olds right now. Some are able to move a bit and can be annoying, but they can't pick you up yet so no real danger yet, but definitely worth watching. 70+ degree dewpoints would raise that to a roomful of 2-year-olds. They're mobile, act independently, and really like sticking their fingers in your eye just to hear you yelp. On the whole, I'd rather have these storms than a brief interval of sunshine. That would usher in a whole busload of three-year-olds.

  • WralCensorsAreBias Apr 30, 2014

    It looks like the bulk of it will stay east of Raleigh once again today. You should be able to sound the all clear shortly.

  • Ginger Lynn Apr 30, 2014
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    Ditto!

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