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Much of central North Carolina under tornado watch until 10 p.m.

This 2017 photo shows lightning striking down in Duck, North Carolina during a storm in the Outer Banks.
Sean Curran
This 2017 photo shows lightning striking down in Duck, North Carolina during a storm in the Outer Banks.

Updated at 2:38 p.m.

Severe weather, including thunderstorms, is likely across much of central North Carolina on Friday.

“All severe hazards will be possible today,” says Kathleen Carroll, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. “So, that's hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes are all possible."

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for central and eastern North Carolina until 10 p.m.

Carroll says the strongest storms will move through the Triangle between 2 p.m. and the early evening. Meteorologists with WRAL say the storm could be at its most severe between 6 and 10 p.m.

Much of central North Carolina – from north of Fayetteville, to Greensboro, to Rocky Mount – is under a Level 3 Enhanced Risk for severe weather, according to the National Weather Service’s scale.

Out of precaution, North Carolina Central University has moved its graduation ceremonies scheduled for Friday indoors.

Durham Public Schools will dismiss students two hours early Friday, due to the threat of severe weather. The district says all after school programs and activities are canceled.

According to AccuWeather, severe thunderstorms are expected across the southeastern U.S. on Friday, from as far southwest as New Orleans, all the way up to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

"Friday into Friday evening could also feature severe weather from the Gulf Coast to southern West Virginia as the cold front continues eastward, bringing flooding downpours, hail and damaging wind gusts,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jessica Storm told Yahoo.

Before the storms come, Friday’s weather is expected to be dry and cloudy, with temperatures in the low 80s, according to WRAL. The storm is expected to end overnight, but rain could continue into Saturday.

Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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