NC bracing for storms that could bring rain, snow and hail

The potential for severe thunderstorms will continue through the early morning hours Thursday, ahead of a strong cold front which will cross the region around daybreak Thursday.

National Weather Service meteorologist John De Block said early Wednesday he expects storms to last into the evening in southern and eastern Alabama.

Storm survey teams toured the area Wednesday morning, including a heavily damaged elementary school and destroyed fire station. Major universities including Alabama and Auburn also are closed, and many churches have called off Wednesday night activities.

Alabama governor Robert Bentley said the state of emergency would last until the severe weather subsides.

Alabama's governor declared a state of emergency and schools in SC planned to dismiss classes early Wednesday ahead of severe thunderstorms expected to move across the Southeast, bringing a threat of tornadoes and hail the size of baseballs. Elementary school classes will be dismissed at 11 a.m. Wednesday, and after-school activities are canceled.

Two radars used by the National Weather Service to track storms are out of service today, and forecasters need extra eyes in southeast Alabama. The storms may contain damaging wind, large hail, and excessive rainfall.

Storms are expected to develop along and south of a warm front across southeast Georgia and southern SC. He says tornadoes are likely and there's a strong chance of baseball-size hail, and hail as large as tennis balls was reported in the first wave of storms.

  • Joanne Flowers