Weather

A screenshot of the radar update from the National Weather Service in Raleigh as of 5:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021
NWS - Raleigh

This post will be updated frequently on Feb. 19, 2021 with the latest information and breaking news about winter weather conditions in North Carolina. The latest updates will be entered at the top with timestamps. Scroll down for older updates.

Some schools closed, and tens of thousands lost power as a winter storm swept through parts of North Carolina this week. The National Weather Service in Raleigh said Friday morning that the “threat of impactful wintry weather is winding down," but flooding remains a concern.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper surveys the damage to homes at the Ocean Ridge Plantation in Brunswick County, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, after a tornado hit the area Monday night.
Chris Seward / AP

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that the state must learn from the surprise tornado that struck Ocean Isle Beach with little or no warning, leaving three people dead and 10 injured.

A screenshot of the radar update from the National Weather Service in Raleigh as of 5:40 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.
NWS - Raleigh

This post will be updated frequently on Feb. 18, 2021 with the latest information and breaking news about winter weather conditions in North Carolina. The latest updates will be entered at the top with timestamps. Scroll down for older updates.

The National Weather Service's Forecast for North Carolina on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
NWS - Raleigh

Updated at 6:50 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2021

Freezing rain is expected across central North Carolina starting overnight Wednesday. Duke Energy says the winter weather may cause nearly one quarter of its North and South Carolina customers to lose power. 

There is significant damage to Brunswick County, including downed trees and power lines, after a tornado hit early Tuesday morning. Thousands of people are without electricity.
Brunswick County Sherriff's Office / Facebook

Updated at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2021.

Forecasters have determined it was an EF3 tornado that touched down in Brunswick County last night, killing three people and injuring 10. The tornado struck just before midnight and ripped apart houses in a neighborhood near Shallotte, about 40 miles southwest of Wilmington.

Lynne Sladky / AP Photo

 

Tropical Storm Eta dumped blustery rain across north Florida after landfall Thursday morning north of the heavily populated Tampa Bay area, and then sped out into the Atlantic off of the neighboring coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas.

A screengrab from the National Weather Service's radar at 11:41 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2020.
NWS

Updated at 12:34 p.m.

A flash flood warning is in effect for all of central North Carolina, including the Triad, the Triangle and east of the Triangle.

Multiple water rescues and flash flooding have been reported across central and western North Carolina.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

At least four people were killed as Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain Tuesday along the U.S. East Coast after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina, where it caused floods and fires that displaced dozens of people.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Updated at 4:15 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to regain hurricane strength by the time it makes landfall later tonight. 

Floodwaters submerged N.C. Highway 41 east of Wallace so much that people could jet ski down the road.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

State Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon called it a 1,000-year storm event. He was talking about the 7-and-1/2 inches of rain that flooded US 401, a major commuter artery linking northern Wake and Franklin counties.

Linda Rupert

Tropical Depression Florence is well inland, but North Carolina is still reeling from the storm. All of the state’s 100 counties have experienced some form of National Weather System alert, from flash flood watch to hazardous weather outlook.

 In a two-hour special broadcast to stations around North Carolina, The State of Things speaks with residents, journalists, officials and experts about the devastating storm impact. 

Russ Lewis covers his eyes from a gust of wind and a blast of sand as Hurricane Florence approaches Myrtle Beach, S.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.
David Goldman / AP

UPDATED 6 P.M.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed additional deaths related to Hurricane Florrence.

aaronHwarren / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/6NykjK

Storms brought heavy rain to the Triangle overnight. Several roads flooded, and drivers needed to be rescued from submerged vehicles along the Raleigh beltline.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Michael Strickler says resident can expect more of the same tonight.

The Future Of Hurricanes

Sep 11, 2017
National Guard soldiers in Houston in August of 2017
Texas Army National Guard photo / FBI

Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey still filled the streets in Texas when Hurricane Irma blew ashore in Florida. As the latest storm moves toward North Carolina, Duke scientists explore whether these rare weather events are growing more frequent or more extreme. They also analyze how communities and governments can become more resilient.

At least a dozen people were injured after storms rolled through southeastern North Carolina Monday night.
Karsun Designs / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/dNjxNt

At least a dozen people have been hurt after storms struck in eastern North Carolina nearly a week after a tornado hit the area. The storm hit Sampson County about 30 miles east of Fayetteville around 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Courtesy of NC Emergency Management

There is a tornado watch in effect for central and eastern North Carolina, as well as thunder storm warnings and a wind advisory. 

Courtesy of NC Emergency Management

North Carolina is bracing for what is expected to be a severe weather system tonight.  

Drought Map as of June 21, 2016.
North Carolin a Drought Monitor

Summer has brought moderate-to-severe drought conditions to 14 counties in the southwest corner of the state.

The area usually sees about an inch of rain per week, but not so this year, according to State Climatologist Rebecca Ward.

Image of the warning areas from the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service

School districts across the state are closing early today in anticipation of thunderstorms, strong winds and possible tornadoes.

Wake, Durham, Johnston, Cumberland and Sampson County schools are among dozens of districts letting out about three hours early this afternoon. District officials say the dismissal is an unusual precaution. But they want to make sure students are safe at home and not on the bus when the severe weather is expected to hit.

An image of child sliding down a sidewalk
Jess Clark / WUNC

Snow, sleet and ice continue to cover the state. Meanwhile, many people are staying safe as they experience the wintry weather. Take a look at what people are up to as the storm sweeps through:

Snow Scene
Billy Wilson (thebillywilson.com) via Flickr

Many regions of the Old North State are blanketed in snow today. As North Carolinians dig out from the storm, we dug back through the archives for these five snow day finds: 

National Weather Service / NOAA

Updated 6:53 p.m.

Meteorologists say another line of precipitation will add a little more ice and freezing rain to the wintry mix tonight.

The National Weather Service says the heaviest ice accumulation overnight will stretch along a line across central North Carolina from Moore County in the Sandhills to Granville County along the Virginia border. Within that range are Wake, Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties. The forecast says there could be another quarter-inch's worth of ice by morning.

Snow plow clearing the road
NCDOT

WUNC's complete coverage of the winter storm's timeline, impact, and ongoing closures and power outages.  Check back throughout the day and evening.

University Classes, Schools Canceled Friday

Jan 21, 2016
snow on I-40
Dave DeWitt

Updated at 6:26 pm: 

School and business closings are starting to come in, ahead of Friday’s expected storm.

UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and NC State University have canceled classes for Friday.

Here's a list of schools that have announced they will be closed Friday:

  • Wake County Schools
  • Durham Public Schools 
  • Chapel Hill/Carrboro Schools 
  • Orange County Schools 
  • Cumberland County Schools
  • Chatham County Schools
  • Johnston County Schools
  • Alamance/Burlington Schools 
  • Guilford County Schools 
  • Franklin County Schools
  • Edgecombe County Schools
  • Nash/Rocky Mount Schools 
  • Person County Schools 
  • Lee County Schools 
  • Roanoke Rapids Schools
  • Weldon City Schools
  • Northampton County Schools
  • Warren County Schools

Salt brine sprayed and dried on a road surface for anti-icing before a snow storm
Z22 / Wikipedia

Winter Storm Jonas is headed across North Carolina tonight into early tomorrow morning.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Brandon Dunstan says the Triangle could get up to five inches of snow before tomorrow morning's commute; the Triad could see 10 inches. Freezing rain will likely fall throughout the afternoon.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbot says the department is ready.

A picture of a dog standing in snow.
Poligraf Poligrafovich / Wikipedia

Temperatures are holding steady at freezing and below. So animal advocates and veterinary professionals are urging owners not to leave pets outside if they can avoid it.

Cold sky in the woods.
http://www.torange.biz

An Arctic cold front passed through the region Monday, bringing below-freezing temperatures to the Triad and Triangle.

National Weather Service Forecaster Scott Sharp says temperatures have hovered in the teens so far this morning.

Flash flooding led first responders to evacuate residents of two Chapel Hill apartment complexes.
Jess Clark

Flash flooding led firefighters to evacuate residents of two Chapel Hill apartment complexes Wednesday afternoon.

Greg Fishel
WRAL.com

Broadcast meteorologists on local television have one job. It’s simple to express but difficult to do well. Predict the future, a few days at a time.

To be an effective forecaster, a broadcast meteorologist has to be a scientist. And because it’s TV, she or he also has to be likable and trustworthy.

Greg Fishel of WRAL is all of those things. He also used to be a global warming denier. Now, he admits he was wrong.

A picture of a flooded New Jersey pumpkin patch.
Jackie / Wikipedia

The worst of the stormy weather has passed. But Brian Long of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the trouble is still ahead for farmers.

"Unfortunately, the impacts are on some of the crops that are major for North Carolina: Peanuts, sweet potatoes, cotton, tobacco, soybeans, in particular. And then you think about farmers, such as pumpkin farmers, that this is the time of year when their crop is in demand, and we're hearing some reports of pumpkins, you know, actually just floating in water in fields."

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