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Governor Urges North Carolinians to Stay Alert as Severe Weather Moves Across State

Raleigh

As severe storms move across the state throughout the day into the evening, Governor Roy Cooper encourages North Carolinians to monitor weather forecasts and heed advice from local emergency officials.

 

“North Carolina is at greater risk of severe weather today,” Governor Cooper warned. “Make sure you stay tuned to local warnings and have a plan in place to help your family stay safe if severe weather hits.

 

As of 1 p.m. today, thunderstorms were continuing to develop across the foothills and were tracking eastward. The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch until 7 p.m. this evening. A tornado watch means that residents need to remain alert and stay tuned since tornadoes are possible.

 

An eastward expansion of this tornado watch may be needed through the afternoon. A strongly forced cold front will approach North Carolina today, bringing an increased chance for severe thunderstorms Sunday afternoon through early Monday morning. This threat has become enhanced across the foothills with recent forecast updates. If a tornado warning is issued for an area, a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately!
 

As storms track across the state, the primary threats will be damaging straight-line winds, large hail (quarter/golf ball size), dangerous lightning and isolated tornadoes. Heavy rain will increase the potential for flash flooding in all areas, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas. Rapid accumulations of 2-3” (with higher amounts) will be possible where thunderstorms produce torrential downpours. A flash flood watch has been issued for much of the mountains and foothills until this evening.

Impact Timing:

- Foothills: Late morning/early afternoon

- Western Piedmont (west of US 1): mid-late afternoon (3 – 10 p.m.)

- Eastern Piedmont (east of US 1): late evening (7 p.m. – 1 a.m.)

- Coastal Plain: late evening/overnight

Thunderstorms will move off the coast after midnight.

 

North Carolina Emergency Management officials have been monitoring conditions across the state, checking in with local emergency management and reaching out to other first responders to determine what assistance may be needed.

 

North Carolina Emergency Management is recommending people to:

  • Know the terms: WATCH means a tornado is possible. WARNING means TAKE ACTION: a tornado has been spotted; take shelter immediately.
  • Know where the nearest safe room is in your home or work.
    • Home – go to the basement under the stairs or to an interior room on the lowest floor, away from windows.
    • Schools, hospitals, offices – go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor. Avoid long corridors with windows and large open areas with free span roofs like gyms.
    • High rise buildings – go to an interior hallway, bathroom or closet and stay away from windows.
    • Modular homes and vehicles – leave immediately and go to a sturdy building.
  • If you are outdoors, and there is no shelter available, take cover in a low-lying flat area. Watch out for flying debris.
  • If driving, you should leave your vehicle immediately to seek safety in an adequate structure. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle, and do not stop under an overpass or a bridge.

With the threat for severe weather persisting overnight Sunday, it is important to have several ways to receive weather warnings. More information on severe storms, tornadoes and overall emergency preparedness can be found in the ReadyNC mobile app and online at www.ReadyNC.org. For the latest updates as severe weather unfolds, please refer to the National Weather Service, your local weather forecasters and your NOAA Weather Radio.

 

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