Pop-up storms keep packing a punch

Posted July 19, 2012 7:12 p.m. EDT
Updated July 19, 2012 10:20 p.m. EDT

— Short-lived but powerful storms kept popping up in the Sandhills and Triangle into Thursday night.

Lightning sparked a fire in a house at 18 Citation Drive in Durham, firefighters said. The blaze was contained to the attic, and the couple who lives there was not hurt.

Lightning also struck the Weaver Street Market tree, a landmark in Carrboro. The strike sent wood chips flying as far as 20 feet.

At one point, rain fell so fast on Interstate 440 that standing water closed a westbound lane near Lake Boone Trail.

WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said the storms are developing rapidly but dying out fairly quickly.

"If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, it could be a pretty big deal," Fishel said.

The storms will mostly end as the sun sets, but a few could linger overnight.

As the showers pass, temperatures are expected to cool down, falling into the mid 70s.

Friday will bring another hot blast of summer: a high around 96 degrees and a shot at strong, scattered late-day storms.

A stalled cold front will bring different weather for the weekend. Saturday and Sunday will see highs in the mid to upper 80s and widespread rain.