70 mph wind gusts possible this afternoon during severe weather

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— Damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes are possible Thursday as a round of severe weather moves through our area.

“Stay weather alert,” said WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth of the level 3 out of 5 risk for severe weather that stretches across the entire viewing area.

According to Wilmoth, the timing of the storms will be late afternoon through the evening commute, with an estimated time span of 3 to 8 p.m. The severe weather will be the result of a front that brought storms across the mid-Mississippi Valley, the lower Mississippi Valley and the Southern Plains on Wednesday.

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“This is pretty serious, and it’s really our entire viewing area,” WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

While Thursday will start quiet but muggy, storms are expected to move in around 3 p.m. Gusts could reach 40 to 70 mph, and hail could be the size of quarters or larger.

“The biggest severe weather threat today will be damaging wind gusts,” Wilmoth said. “We could have gusts up to 70 mph in some of the storms late this afternoon and evening.”

Temperatures will reach 87 degrees by lunchtime and top off at 92 degrees.

Current Temperatures, DMA

There’s only a 10% chance for rain Thursday morning. That increases to 40% in the afternoon and 50% in the evening.

Once the front moves out of the area around 8 p.m., though, things will be quiet again.

Friday looks like a good day to go to the pool or a lake, as the official start of summer will have highs in the mid-to-upper 80s and mostly clear skies.

June 21 is known as the longest day of the year. The sun will rise in Raleigh around 6 a.m., and daylight will extend past 8:30 p.m.

7-Day Forecast