Weather service cancels tornado warning for Sampson County

Posted December 22, 2015 8:38 a.m. EST
Updated December 23, 2015 8:35 a.m. EST

Tornado warning canceled: About 30 minutes after it was issued, the National Weather Service canceled a tornado warning for Sampson County as a strong storm pushed through extreme southeastern North Carolina.

The warning for Sampson County ended at about 8:30 a.m., but a separate warning for Duplin County is in effect until 9 a.m.

"We saw lots of heavy rain and lightning with this cell, but we struggled to see defined rotation," WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth said. "Luckily, we've not received any reports of funnel clouds or damage in any of the counties impacted by the storm."

After a break in the rain Tuesday evening, more showers moved into the area early Wednesday morning, causing another wet commute in the Triangle.

"With all the rain we had yesterday, and the rain we have now that is falling, flooding is a concern," WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth said. "Take your time on the roads; we'll likely have ponding and flooding throughout the morning."

Wilmoth said thunderstorms are also possible throughout the Triangle area Wednesday afternoon, but skies are expected to clear for Christmas Eve.

As people head out the door for work, temperatures will be in the mid 60s, with fog, while the air will feel warm and muggy.

"It will feel more like Florida in the coming days," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said of the upcoming warmth, which will likely set new records.

The holiday weekend could see record warmth, with a forecast of 77 degrees on Christmas Eve and 75 degrees on Christmas Day. The previous record high temperature for both days was 75 degrees, and Maze said the mercury could rise into the low 80s in certain spots on Christmas Eve, if there is enough sunshine.

"This is really some incredible warmth on the way," he said. "We haven't felt something like this in a long time."