Storms roll across state

Posted July 23, 2008 6:19 a.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2008 10:43 p.m. EDT

— Showers are expected into the overnight hours Wednesday as a cold front moves into the area.

WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said the storms could bring damaging wind gusts, large hail and lightning.

Scattered showers started to affect the state during the late afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch across the WRAL viewing area until 11 p.m. Wednesday.

WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said the rain should die out overnight leading to a cooler and less humid Thursday.

High temperatures on Wednesday were in the upper 80s.

Elsewhere Wednesday, Hurricane Dolly slammed into the South Texas coast with punishing rain and winds of 100 mph, blowing down signs, peeling off roofs and knocking out power to thousands before weakening over land.

Local officials' greatest fear – that the levees holding back the Rio Grande would fail and cause massive flooding – eased when Dolly meandered 35 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border just before coming ashore on South Padre Island as a Category 2 storm. About two hours later, Dolly's winds slowed to 95 mph, and the storm was downgraded to a Category 1.