First Alert Forecast: what you need to know about Thursday’s severe risk

Updated: Mar. 18, 2021 at 2:30 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Hello on this Thursday. A dangerous storm system with a history of spawning tornadoes and severe thunderstorms along the Gulf coast will move through the Carolinas and specifically the Lower Cape Fear Region late in the day. Here’s what you need to know...

The setup: Temperatures will warm to at least the 70s as strong cold front approaches. Atmospheric wind fields will help any storms that form along the front to organize into gusty line segments or spin individually.

The timing: A stray shower or storm could form at almost any place and any time in the Cape Fear Region Thursday, but the narrower window for the most organized severe threat appears to be roughly 4 to 10 p.m.

The threats: Since the storm line may be broken, not every spot is guaranteed adverse weather. Those that do receive a storm will get a downpour, lightning, and gusty winds. Hail and tornadoes may accompany the strongest cells.

The positives: Since peak daytime heating is a little before the main storm threat window, and cool ocean air will be bleeding into the Cape Fear Region, some cells may be diminishing as they punch eastward.

The bottom line: Too many ingredients for severe weather are present for you to not pay attention. Have your WECT Weather App set to alert your location to severe bulletins and, ideally, have another way to receive alerts as a backup.

Beyond Thursday a much calmer pattern will take shape. Temperatures will dip a bit for Friday into the weekend but recover again early next week. There could be a few showers Sunday and Monday. For those wondering Spring officially begins on Saturday.

Catch your seven-day forecast for Wilmington right here. Or, extend your outlook to a full ten days for any spot you choose with your WECT Weather App. And thanks for trusting your First Alert Weather Team!

7-day Forecast

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