Severe thunderstorms are expected in most of North Carolina on Sunday evening with possibly damaging winds, large hail, dangerous lightning and tornadoes. Heavy rain could cause flash flooding, according to the National Weather Service.
A few isolated storms can't be ruled out as early as Sunday afternoon, the weather service said, but the bulk of the storm activity expected in central North Carolina was set for between 6 p.m. Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday.
Those early storms could produce small hail and strong wind gusts.
Some of the storms are expected to be severe, with primary risks of damaging straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes, primarily across the western Piedmont (west of Highway 1).
Hail the size of quarters is possible, the weather service said. Isolated incidents of hail the size of golf balls will be possible with the strongest storms.
Frequent cloud-to-ground lightning is expected.
Localized flooding is possible where intense and prolonged rain downpours happen, especially in urban or poor drainage areas.
As much as 2.5 to 4 inches of rain per hour with stronger storm cells is possible, the weather service said. A band of heat and moisture crossing Georgia into South Carolina on Sunday afternoon could disrupt things, though, and result in far less rain.
Parts of North Carolina west of the Triad already were under a flash-flood watch as of 9:40 a.m. Sunday.
The storm system is the result of a strong cold front moving east across the state on Sunday.
The high Sunday was expected to be in the low 80s, with a low around 54.
Isolated showers also are expected on Monday before 2 p.m. with a much cooler high near 62 and a low of 40. Tuesday will be slightly warmer at 67 before another warmup on Wednesday and Thursday with highs near 80 again.