Level 2 Storm Risk Will Start Off Memorial Day Weekend

Level 2 Storm Risk Will Start Off Memorial Day Weekend

(NCNN WeatherCenter)–NCNN meteorologists are looking ahead to Friday when much of the state, including Wayne County, could see severe storms. Isolated tornadoes and wind damage will be likely Friday afternoon and evening when a cold front swings through.

The entire area is under a Level 2 risk for severe storms on Friday, and the timing could complicate those traveling for the holiday weekend. The same cluster of storms is moving northward from the gulf coast, where tornado watches were issued.

“The timeline on this could be such that you’d run into this as you’re trying to travel,” NCNN meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

The latest models show a line of storms coming through our western counties in the morning. Around 5 a.m., storms will start to hit our western counties. A more defined band moves through between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. with a higher possibility of being severe.

“Between noon and 5, 6 o’ clock is when we’d have the best chance of severe storms, but we will have the Round 1 in the morning for our western counties and some of that could be strong,” Gardner said.

Friday is one of the busiest travel days for Memorial Day travelers on the roads, according to AAA, and congestion combined with severe weather expected during the morning commute could be a bad combination, Gardner said.

Drivers are encouraged to leave early in the morning if they can, before storms and traffic are at their worst.

Since the soil has been saturated since Monday in the Eastern North Carolina, there is also a risk for flooding with Friday’s rain. Up to 1 inch of rain could fall, creating a low risk for flash flooding if there are heavy downpours.

Temperatures will heat back up and reach a high of 83 degrees on Friday.

The weekend appears to be the driest portion of the week, with highs in the 80s and humidity dropping. There is a minimal chance for rain on Saturday and Sunday, so it will be a good weekend to get outdoors.