THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: The Super Doppler 10 Weather Team is tracking the potential for strong to severe storms this afternoon.
WHAT: Risk of strong to severe storms this afternoon
WHEN: 3-9 p.m.
WHERE: Entire area – all of eastern VA and NE NC

At 3:10 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch until 9 p.m. for most of the eastern regions of Virginia and North Carolina.

That watch was canceled around 7:30 p.m. for all areas except Virginia Beach, upper Outer Banks and the Elizabeth City Region.

A cold front is approaching from the west, leading to the development of some showers and storms. Some clearing this morning has allowed for the sun to peak through the clouds, increasing t-storms fuel or CAPE as we call it in meteorology. As this occurs, the storms are able to tap into an environment that is supportive for storms. We have enough thunderstorm fuel, wind shear and moisture to let the storms grow. 

As we go through the evening, some showers and storms are expected. This could impact the evening commute in a few spots.

The main concerns with these storms are gusty winds, hail, heavy rain and the risk of an isolated tornado developing. We have enough shear this afternoon to support sustained updrafts in the storms – resulting in some that will be capable of producing hail. Storms need updrafts to produce hail, since hail is formed by the rising and falling of the hailstones in the storm. On each updraft, the storm’s hail can grow larger as it goes above the freezing level. Then, once it becomes too heavy for the storm to keep it aloft, it falls out of the storm.

Our FutureTrak updraft tracker shows several areas of strong updrafts in the storms this afternoon/evening. These are the white/blue and green shaded areas on the map.

Remember, if a tornado warning is issued, act! Move to the lowest floor interior room, away from windows. Use something to cover your head such as a pillow, blanket, or mattress. 

Showers/storms will move out of the area overnight, with just a few showers lingering into Friday. 

If you can do so safely, submit your storm pictures and videos to us by sending your reports to

Stay safe!

Meteorologist Ricky Matthews

Follow Ricky on Facebook and Twitter