State News

Storms move to south, east of Triangle

Posted July 31, 2008 7:55 a.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2008 10:57 p.m. EDT

— A batch of strong summer storms struck central North Carolina early Thursday evening causing some downed trees and wind damage.

Counties across the state were under a severe thunderstorm watch for most of the evening, but the greatest risk of severe storms had moved to the south and east of the Triangle by 5:15 p.m.

Another line of storms west of Durham looked to cause some rain into the early morning hours on Friday, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Thursday evening, heavy rain fell in communities from Roanoke Rapids through Nashville to Fayetteville and Southern Pines. Wind gusts of up to 40 mph were measured in Moore and Harnett counties.

In Holly Springs, lightning sparked an apartment fire. In Henderson, high winds brought down power lines and tossed a tree across four lanes of Oxford Road.

Wind damage was reported throughout the state. A large downed tree was reported in Vance County.

Fishel noted that Thursday's system brought more rain and covered more area than the one that passed through late Wednesday afternoon. Watches were also more widespread than a day before.

Fishel cited the common summer culprits of heat and humidity for the storms. "A 'lee trough,' an elongated area of low pressure which forms east of the mountains, acts as a trigger for these storms," he said.

Fishel predicted no rain for the Triangle Friday and highs again in the 90s. Moisture increases again Saturday and a stray shower is possible in the afternoon.