Dangerous winds, tornadoes, hail possible through afternoon, evening on Thursday

Central North Carolina could wake up to rain Thursday, and by early evening dangerous weather is in the forecast. Most of the area is under a Level 3, or enhanced, risk for severe weather.

That means there is the likelihood of storms that could pack damaging winds, hail and at least the threat of tornadoes, according to WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth.

“It could be a good soaker,” WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said, adding that an inch of rain could fall, causing isolated flooding.

Rain could begin in the Triangle as early as Wednesday night, with the weather becoming severe after lunchtime Thursday. The greatest chance for tornadoes in the Triangle comes between about 4 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Wilmoth said.

“Heavy rain tends to stabilize the atmosphere,” Gardner said. “Tomorrow we’ll really have to get an hour-by-hour look at what is happening.”

There is about a 10% risk of tornadoes for any one location in an area that stretches from Charlotte to Greenville, with a 5% risk for the eastern part of the state.

The severity of the storms should moderate through Thursday night, but showers could continue into Friday morning.

“Enjoy today because tomorrow will be a completely different story,” said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

A high pressure system kept things dry and pleasant on Wednesday before Thursday’s severe weather threat.

7-Day Forecast

After the storms move away, Friday looks sunny and dry, although another system could bring rain and thunderstorms to the area on Saturday.

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