Humid air fuels thunderstorms across central NC

Posted April 26, 2012 9:40 a.m. EDT
Updated April 26, 2012 3:47 p.m. EDT

— An approaching cold front will combine with a humid air mass over central North Carolina Thursday afternoon, producing a scenario ripe for strong to severe thunderstorms that could include damaging winds or hail, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. 

A line of thunderstorms moved quickly through the Triangle around lunchtime, producing heavy rain and gusty winds.

"The system crossed our entire viewing area in an hour," Gardner said. "Fortunately, none of this has been severe."

The rain will continue on and off this afternoon as temperatures top out near 80 degrees. 

"By this evening, our chance of rain will jump up to 80 percent," Gardner said.

Rain chances will diminish overnight as low temperatures fall back into the mid-50s.

"We'll see some showers and thunderstorms pop up throughout the day today," Gardner said. "We're not expecting any severe weather, but wind and possibly some hail could accompany these storms."

A line of strong showers and thunderstorms rumbled across the northern part of the area early Thursday, dropping more than half an inch of rain in spots to the north of the Triangle between 3 and 5 a.m. The fast-moving storms are part of a larger system that has impacted weather from Georgia to Ohio.

Skies should be partly cloudy for the majority of the day Friday, but Gardner said southern parts of the Triangle could see isolated showers. High temperatures will be in the mid-70s.