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Raleigh, N.C. — Much of the Triangle and central North Carolina are under a severe thunderstorm watch for the next several hours as storms march through the region.
The National Weather Service advisory extends until 9 p.m. and includes Wake, Cumberland, Durham and Johnston counties, WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth said.
Some counties, including Orange, Warren and Vance, are under a severe thunderstorm warning that lasts until 4 p.m. For a complete list of advisories issued by the National Weather Service, click here
Wilmoth said the storms could bring torrential downpours, hail, lightning and the possibility of isolated tornadoes.
“The storms are moving to the east at about 20 miles per hour,” she said, adding that wind gusts could reach up to 65 miles per hour.
The Triangle is under a Level 2 threat for severe weather, and damaging winds, large hail and heavy rain are possible. At 1 p.m., a thunderstorm watch was issued for North Carolina’s northwestern counties, including Mecklenburg, Alamance, Person and Forsyth.
Areas north of the Virginia border are under a level 3 risk for severe weather Tuesday, and storms will begin there around 3 p.m. According to Gardner, storms will arrive in the Triangle later, around 6 p.m., and will linger until early Wednesday.
In addition to the storms, Tuesday and Wednesday will be hot and humid, with heat index levels above 100 degrees each day.
While Tuesday’s high is 95 degrees, the humidity levels will make it feel as hot as 105 degrees outdoors.
Wednesday has a 60 percent chance of rain, and by Thursday evening the Triangle could see more than half an inch of rain.
Wednesday’s high will be in the lower 90s before highs stay in the upper 80s the rest of the week.