Humidity sparks storms before retreat
Hot, humid weather will stir up some showers and storms over the next two days before retreating this weekend. One storm was severe enough to create talk of a tornado – later proved to be false – in Moore and Hoke counties.
While a few light showers drifted over the Triangle, a band of storms, with lots of lightning, passed to the south and east Thursday afternoon on a march to the coast. The stronger storms downed a few trees.
At one point, severe thunderstorm warnings were out for Johnston, Harnett and Moore counties.
The National Weather Service said that a citizen call reporting a tornado touchdown near Indiana Avenue and Highway 211 turned out to be false. No damage was reported, and the environment is generally not supportive of tornadoes Friday, according to the NWS.
The citizen call was placed to Moore County authorities, who alerted Hoke County Emergency Management. Hoke officials said that based on that report, they activated their reverse 911 system to alert residents.
Storms and showers could continue through the evening, particularly in the southern Piedmont and Sandhills.
"We do have a front that's going to be moving in in the late afternoon and evening, and that should help to get more of these showers going and could produce a few thunderstorms for us as well," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
The rain will die overnight, but another cold front will roll in Friday. That afternoon will see an even better chance at more widespread storms. Rough weather could continue overnight before tapering off Saturday morning.
Behind the cold fronts, lower temperatures and humidity will reign.
Predicted highs in the mid 80s stretch through the weekend and into next week.