Storms expected Thursday; Northern NC counties at-risk for severe weather

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— Northwestern North Carolina counties are under a Level 1 Risk for severe storms Thursday afternoon.

Although over the past couple days, we haven’t had a severe weather threat in place and we have still seen some intense storms.

Even if you aren’t in that severe risk storm category, you could still see strong storms.

Weather Alert Center

Temperatures are expected to climb back into the lower 90s this afternoon and our rain chances will increase as we more heat.

We will likely stay dry until lunchtime and will see storms late in the afternoon and through the evening.

Tuesday, Wednesday night’s storms

Parts of central North Carolina were hit again on Wednesday by strong storms. Luckily, they were not as bad as the ones we had on Tuesday.

Heavy rain fell and lightning was seen in many parts into early Wednesday night before they began to move out of the area. The threat for strong rain, lightning and heavy winds were associated with the storms.

Carboro firefighters responded to several homes that were struck by lightning. WRAL’s Julian Grace was also in Orange County, where a large tree fell onto a home during the storms.

WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell said the storms Wednesday night were not expected to stick around past midnight, like they did on Tuesday night. There is a good chance for storms on Thursday and Friday. According to Campbell, Sunday is likely to be the driest day this weekend, while Friday is likely to be the wettest.

On Tuesday, heavy rain and strong winds caused localized flooding and power outages across central North Carolina. In Rocky Mount, a building collapsed downtown, and in Johnston County, strong winds picked up a trampoline and sent it blowing several houses away before it crashed into a tree.

As much as 3 inches of rain fell in parts of Raleigh to the southeast Tuesday, while Durham saw closer to 1 inch of rain.

Record heat

The record for 90° days in July at RDU was broken Tuesday. So far, there have been 26 days in July in the 90s. That beats the previous record of 25 days.

Although the 90s aren’t going anywhere, it will feel noticeably milder starting Wednesday. Highs will be in the low to mid 90s for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and the weekend will the best chance for cooler weather this week.

Heat Index

Heat index values should stay below 105 degrees for the rest of the week, but storms will be likely each afternoon.

7-Day Forecast

With high heat comes a risk for heatstroke or heat exhaustion. The N.C. Division of Public Health said there have been 1,205 heat-related ER visits reported since May 1. The patients are mostly males between the ages of 45 to 64, and most are in North Carolina’s Piedmont and Coastal regions.

Heat, hot temperatures

Most of the patients suffered heatstroke after working outdoors.

To stay safe in the heat, people should stay indoors whenever possible, especially in the middle of the day. Drink plenty of water and other fluids and seek shade if you must be outside.