Storms bring Level 2 risk for evening drive with chance of tornadoes, flooding and wind damage

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— A line of strong storms, which spawned tornadoes across Texas and the Deep South over the past two days, will impact North Carolina on Wednesday.

Most of the state is under a Level 2 risk for severe weather beginning Wednesday afternoon, but scattered showers will move into the area around noon.

Although the storm system is the same system that moved through the Deep South, the severe weather threat will not be as high or widespread because our atmosphere is less energized. Two people were killed as the storm front blew across the southeast.

According to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner, storms will be possible beginning late afternoon and into the evening. Gardner said the storms will move into our western counties around 6 p.m. and impact our area on-and-off until 11 p.m. The severe threat diminishes after midnight.

“Damaging winds would be the most likely risk,” Gardner said.

Strong straight line winds, isolated tornadoes and some flooding are all possible, Gardner said. Up to one inch of rain is possible.

The tornadoes that have impacted the Deep South won’t be as large of a threat.

“It’s not a zero threat, but we’re not looking at a widespread tornado outbreak here,” Gardner said.

A shower or two will be possible around noon on Wednesday, but the first half of the day should be dry. Highs will reach the mid 70s Wednesday.

The storms should move away Thursday morning, but a Level 1 low risk goes into effect for eastern North Carolina, where wind damage is possible. There could be some lingering rain throughout the afternoon, but the storm risk is largely contained to Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The storms aren’t as likely to be severe on Thursday.

Severe weather risk for Thursday, March 24

Temperatures will be cooler, in the 60s, for Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, highs will be in the upper 50s. The weekend should be clear, and we could be close to freezing Monday morning, when lows drop into the lower 30s.

7-Day Forecast

Eager to get the garden going?

Wondering if it’s okay to start planting? Temperatures will stay spring-like for a while, but cooler temperatures are ahead. We’re expecting cooler than average temperatures next week, according to meteorologists.

Temperature outlook March 26-30

Our average last freeze comes in mid-April.