The National Weather Service moved the category 4 risk south and east. Wayne, Sampson and Cumberland counties remain in the level 4 threat, with the rest of the region under a level 3 threat.”Just because you see it’s downgraded you go, ‘Oh well that’s good.’ It is good; it means less of a chance, but it still means there is a pretty good chance of seeing severe weather really throughout the region today…just know that the risk for damaging winds really hasn’t decreased that much,” ABC11 Meteorologist Don “Big Weather” Schwenneker said.
While you were sleeping, the @NWSSPC adjusted their risk for today (Thursday). Still a Cat 4 of 5 for our SE area. Biggest threat remains damaging winds. Still could see hail or a strong tornado today. Stay #WeatherAware pic.twitter.com/0EBNRxtNz4
— 𝘿𝙤𝙣 𝙎𝙘𝙝𝙬𝙚𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙠𝙚𝙧 (@BigweatherABC11) March 18, 2021
The morning starts with temperatures in the 50s and will rise to around 70 by the afternoon.
Scattered showers are possible starting around 10 a.m.
From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Triangle, small but powerful cells could pop up around the region. These cells are the ones that have the highest chance of spinning up a tornado.
This critical timing happens between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. for the eastern most counties of the region.
The main line of the storms move through the region between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. This batch of storms will bring the brunt of the damaging straight line winds.
Damaging wind remains the main threat with this set of storms. There is around a 30 percent chance that damaging straight-line winds will happen somewhere in central North Carolina.
The tornado threat is less likely but still possible. The threat level is moderate, which translates to about a 10 percent chance that an EF2-EF5 tornado could happen.
Localized flooding and hail are also possible with the system.
Once this weather event is over, rain could linger around into Friday. Temperatures during the day fall into the 40s with gusty wind.
Saturday and Sunday will see temperatures in the 50s, with more sun Saturday and more warmth Sunday.
If you’re a fan of the warmer spring weather, 70s will return next week.
GMA’s Ginger Zee joins the First Alert Team for Severe Weather townhall
CLOSINGS DUE TO WEATHER
Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Harnett, Hoke, Orange, Johnston, Granville, Cumberland, Person, Wayne and Wilson County and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will all be in remote instruction Thursday due to the impending weather.
On Thursday, Moore County Schools will release students three hours early and all after-school activities will be canceled.
Edgecombe County Schools will close two hours early.
Nash County Schools will close at 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Wake County Schools will have no live instruction. The schools will have an asynchronous learning days where teachers communicate assignments to students to complete on their own.
Meanwhile, anyone in Wake County who was scheduled to get the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday has had their appointment rescheduled for Friday. People who had Friday appointments will still have those appointments.
All COVID-19 testing sites in Wake County are also closed Thursday.
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