Published: 2019-04-26 06:12:00
Updated: 2019-04-26 17:32:55
By Mike Maze, WRAL meteorologist
Raleigh, N.C. — A line of thunderstorms was pushing across North Carolina Friday afternoon, bringing gusty winds, brief but heavy downpours and even some hail.
"These storms are coming through quickly, moving to the east at about 55 mph," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.
The National Weather Service put much of northeast North Carolina under a severe thunderstorm watch through 9 p.m. The Triangle and eastward is under a level 2 risk for severe weather, which means there could be damaging winds, heavy rain and the chance for an isolated tornado.
The same system spawned tornadoes in Texas and Louisiana, killing at least two earlier in the week.
Some of the stronger storms could produce wind gusts of 40, 50, even 60 mph, enough to so some damage.
"It will be blustery this evening but winds will gradually subside overnight," Maze said.
Rainfall inside the storms will be heavy at times, but likely won't be enough to prompt flash flooding. "In Raleigh we saw pea-sized hail," Maze said. "This is not severe hail. It's very, very tiny."
By nightfall, the front will have passed through the Triangle, leaving clear skies.
"Our front passes early this evening, and once it does the air will begin to dry out and cool down," Maze said. The temperature drops down into the upper 40s overnight.
"Once these storms move through your area, the temperatures are crashing," Maze said.
Saturday will have a high in the mid-70s again, and Sunday will have a high in the low 80s.
"We expect a gorgeous and dry Saturday," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "It will be a great day to make outdoor plans!"
Sunday is a touch warmer with a few clouds. The seasonably warm weather sticks around through the beginning of next week.
On Wednesday, when thousands of teachers and school staff are planning a rally in downtown Raleigh, the forecast is for a high of 81 degrees under partly cloudy skies.