Rowan weather: UPDATE Severe thunderstorm watch

Published 3:54 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

UPDATE — Rowan County is under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10 tonight.

Most of the western and central counties in the state are under the watch.

Damaging winds, heavy rain, hail and a tornado is possible. The winds will gust to 30-40 mph in some storms, blowing over loose objects, taking down tree limbs and disrupting power.

A warning may be issued later.

A watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms.

A warning indicates severe storms are approaching our area.

Today’s going to be hot, windy and potentially dangerous as thunderstorms move in with a strong cold front.

The day will be mostly cloudy and 79, with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 5 p.m. Wind will blow from the southwest at 8-13 mph and gust as high as 32 mph. Less than a tenth of an inch of rain is expected, except higher in thunderstorms.

Tonight’s chance of showers and thunderstorms is 80 percent. The wind will continue, from the south southwest at 11-15 mph and shifting to the northwest after midnight. We could also see gusts up to 22 mph. A tenth to a quarter inch of rain is possible, with higher amounts in thunderstorms.

The thunderstorms could become severe, with locally heavy rain and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. A weak tornado cannot be ruled out.

Thursday will be much quieter, with sunny skies and a cooler high of 59. Northwest winds will continue at 8-13 mph, with gusts up to 18 mph. A clear night will lead to a low of 34, with west northwest wind around 5 mph.

Friday will be sunny and cooler, with a high of 56. Winds from the west northwest will blow at 10-15 mph in the morning. Friday night could bring real trouble to farmers, especially fruit growers, because the low will dip to 28 degrees. This is the freeze many were expecting, but since plants have bloomed, the cold could cause serious damage to crops.

Saturday will be sunny and 56 again, with a low of 34, or less in some areas.

Sunday will be mostly sunny and 63, with a low of 43.

Monday will be partly sunny and warmer, back to 70. A 30 percent chance of rain moves in Monday night, with a low of 49.

Tuesday also has a 30 percent chance of rain with mostly sunny skies and another high of 70.