Incoming storms to bring heavy rain, damaging winds to the Triangle

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— Strong thunderstorms are expected to roll into the Triangle early Tuesday afternoon, as parts of North Carolina are under a level 1 threat for severe weather.

A level 1 threat means isolated severe thunderstorms are possible, and they’ll be limited in intensity and duration, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms are part of a system that’s responsible for three deaths in Louisiana and Alabama. Suspected tornadoes destroyed buildings and brought trees down throughout the Deep South on Monday.

But the system’s energy has weakened significantly as the storms headed toward North Carolina.

“We will not see anything like what they had over the south yesterday and overnight,” WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth said. “We’re just not going to have as much energy as the system had when it was in the southern part of the country.”

Warmer weather has settled into North Carolina, with temperatures in the 60s early Tuesday afternoon. High temperatures will reach 70 degrees around lunchtime in Raleigh and Durham.

Current Temperatures, DMA

“Anytime in the wintertime when it feels this warm and humid, we often expect to see those thunderstorms,” WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. “We tend to see a lot more of those in the spring, but often in the wintertime we do see those when we see these big clashes of our air masses.”

Rain made some morning commute wet, but heavier rain and thunderstorms are expected to develop around lunchtime.

The worst of the thunderstorms in the Triangle are expected in the early afternoon. Rain will linger as the system continues moving east, and while the evening commute could be wet, the heaviest of the storms should be over.

Things will get much colder as skies clear Tuesday evening.

“Temperatures will begin to crash down into the 30s overnight,” Wilmoth said.

Wednesday’s high will reach 48 degrees, and lows will drop into the mid-20s.

7-Day Forecast