Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Severe Weather Risk: Late Tuesday - Early Wednesday

There is growing concern today for the threat for severe weather late tonight into early Wednesday morning. A potent storm system will track across the Carolinas tonight increasing the severe weather threat for central and eastern North Carolina between 10pm Tuesday night and 8am Wednesday morning. This is the same storm system that has already produced tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

One of the big concerns with this severe weather threat is the timing. Many people will be asleep and may not hear warnings. Storms could be moving quickly, and there may be little time to act. We mention it time and time again, but it will be very important for everyone in central and eastern North Carolina to have a NOAA Weather Radio tonight. These special radios will sound an alarm when a severe weather warning is issued. Models with SAME technology can be programmed to only alert you when warnings are issued for where you live.

The greatest risk from storms overnight may come from damaging straight line winds. A thunderstorm does not have to produce a tornado to cause wind damage. Straight line winds can cause extensive damage similar to tornadoes. The Storm Prediction Center says there is a 30% probability for damaging winds in the area --

The tornado probability is given at 10% --

10% may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that is a much higher chance than what is expected out of most November storm systems. A few tornadoes will be possible overnight.

While it does not happen that often, North Carolina does have a history of strong overnight tornadoes in November. We cited a few examples in yesterday's blog post. Many longtime Raleigh residents will remember the November 1988 tornado. That tornado reached F4 intensity and stayed on the ground for 84 miles.

We expect the overnight storm threat to be ending by 6am in the Triangle and Sandhills and by 8-9am in coastal North Carolina.

Our team of meteorologists will continue to follow the latest weather information coming into the forecast center. We'll have around the clock coverage of tonight's storm threat. Stay tuned for Weather on the Ones updates on News 14 Carolina.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

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