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Raleigh, N.C. — Tornado warnings that were issued for Johnston, Wayne and Sampson counties have expired as a band of severe weather moved east Tuesday evening.
The storms moving through central North Carolina are part of the same system that brought tornadoes and heavy rain to Dallas, Arkansas and Oklahoma earlier in the week.
The National Weather Service did reduce the severe weather warning from a Level 2 threat to a Level 1 risk.
The weather did impact those attending the NC State Fair on Tuesday, when there was off-and-on showers throughout the day.
The criteria for shutting down rides occurs if wind speeds exceed 25 mph, fair officials said.
“It’s been a great day,” said Cary Gunter. “We were hoping the weather would keep it a little more calm and little more less crowded.”
Fair officials said fairgoers should head to the indoor attractions if the skies opened.
Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said more rain and storms could start moving into the region by 2 p.m., peaking around 5 or 6 p.m.
“It gets worse for us as we get into the afternoon,” Gardner said. “That’s when we’ll have a better chance of some of those stronger thunderstorms.”
Those going to the State Fair on Tuesday may want to leave after lunchtime, Gardner said.
Fair officials said they transmit any weather warnings through loudspeakers and will usher people to safe places on the fairgrounds.
By 8 p.m., any severe weather should be moving out of the area.
The severe weather could bring 50 to 60 mph winds to the region — strong enough to bring down branches and small trees. An isolated tornado is possible, but that threat is slim, Gardner said. Flooding should not be an issue.
Behind the storms is a cold front that will bring much cooler air to the region on Wednesday. Overnight, temperatures will be chilly, in the upper 40s, and Wednesday’s high is only 67 degrees in Raleigh.
Wednesday and Thursday will both be dry days for fairgoers.
A chance for rain returns for Friday and the weekend, but the timing of the rain isn’t certain, Gardner said.