Maze: Risk for damaging winds 'minimal' through early evening

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— Thunderstorms could pop up across central North Carolina through early evening Tuesday, although the risk for damaging winds is minimal, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

“Make sure you have some rain gear to keep you dry,” he said.

Winds were measured at up to 30 mph in Raleigh around noon, and the storms bring the possibility of gusts of 40 or 45 mph through about 8 p.m.

According to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner, thunderstorms could be in the Triangle by 3 or 4 p.m. and are forecast to move out of the area around 6 p.m. According to Gardner, rain will be heaviest north and west of the Triangle.

The area is under a level 1 risk for severe weather, which means a slight chance for strong winds and an isolated tornado.

“This won’t be like last week’s storms, but we still need to take it seriously,” Gardner said. “We’re not looking at a widespread threat for severe weather or storms.”

With more rain on the way, drivers in Wayne County were urged to be aware of the chance for flooding and to obey signs where roads remain closed after last week’s storms. Those include: Bridgers Road, Capps Bridge Road, Ferry Bridge Road, Stevens Mill Road, and Lassiter Road.

The storms and the cold front behind them will drop temperatures from the 70s Tuesday afternoon into the 50s by Wednesday afternoon, Maze said.

The warmth bounces back Thursday, with highs in the 70s, and a storm system in the western United States could bring storms to North Carolina again. After that, temperatures plunge but the sun returns. Highs will only reach the 40s on Friday, for Valentine’s Day, and on Saturday.