Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for multiple counties, including Wake, Johnston, Orange, Chatham and Wilson.
Tornado warnings were also issued for Granville, Franklin and Vance counties.
The storms also caused a lightning fire at David Raper's home on Swansboro Drive in Cary.
Raper, who was at dinner with his family, said the lightning ran down his chimney and caused a fire that ran from the attic to the crawlspace.
The severe weather comes as the Triangle saw a brief respite from the heat Monday morning, when drizzle in Raleigh held temperatures below 80 degrees.
By midday, heavy rain and thunderstorms were marching along the North Carolina-Virginia border, and Roanoke Rapids was seeing some of those showers. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Alamance and Orange counties from 4:30 p.m. until 5:45 p.m.
Across the central part of the state, steamy humidity is the signature feature of the week, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
High temperatures will push 90 degrees every day this week, and there is a chance for thunderstorms every afternoon. Those chances are not widespread, but any storms could produce locally heavy downpours and gusty winds, Gardner said.