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Golf-ball-size hail and high winds possible Thursday, but no more tornadoes for central NC

The sun came out from behind the clouds on Thursday morning for the first time in days, but forecasters say the brighter skies may not last.

Clouds could return Thursday afternoon, and scattered to numerous thunderstorms with golf-ball-size hail and damaging winds are possible, National Weather Service forecasters say. The agency has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook warning that if hail does fall, it could cover the ground and briefly affect travel.

While thunderstorms and other severe weather are possible, the threat of tornadoes has passed, the NWS said. That’s good news for those on high alert Wednesday as heavy rain, damaging winds, lightning and at least one confirmed tornado rumbled through central North Carolina.

The NWS issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, flood watch and tornado watch for much of Central and Eastern North Carolina on Wednesday, and the watch lasted until the early morning hours of Thursday.

The NWS in Blacksburg, Va., confirmed about 4:47 p.m. that a tornado touched down in several counties near Winston-Salem.

The storm cut through Iredell, Davie, Yadkin and Stokes counties about 4:15 p.m., caused several injuries and destroyed or damaged structures including Courtney Elementary School’s gym in Yadkin County, The Winston-Salem Journal reported. School had let out.

A state of emergency was declared for Davie County, where 20 to 25 homes were damaged, television station WFMY reports.

The NWS confirmed that an EF-1 tornado, with estimated winds between 105 and 110 mph, hit the town of Autryville and the Bearskin community east of Fayetteville on Tuesday. The tornado caused property damage, and a state of emergency was declared in Autryville. A nightly curfew was in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice.

On Friday and Saturday skies will be sunny and temperatures will hover in the 80s, with no severe weather expected, the weather service said. A chance of showers and thunderstorms is possible on Sunday through Monday night.

On Sunday and Monday, temperatures are expected to rise near 90, and the chance for showers and thunderstorms will be back in the forecast.

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