Fourth Forecast: Rain, thunder, lightning & wind

Published 8:56 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

Weather Watch Web Graphic
This holiday weekend, Mother Nature might just provide her own fireworks show for Carter County residents.
“Each day there is about a 70 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Jessica Winton said. “We are looking at a lot of rain, lightning, maybe some small hail and some gusty winds.”
The chance of rain and storms is strongest in the afternoon hours and there should be a break in the storms overnight each night, Winton said.
“As the day progresses the air heats up the chances for storms are greater, then, as the sun goes down and it begins to cool off, that chance diminishes,” Winton said.
The weather should stick to the same pattern the area has seen for the last few days, which brings on a new potential hazard, Winton said.
“With all the rain we’ve been getting lately the rivers and streams are pretty full,” she said. “If the pattern holds with the rain we’ve been getting we could see some localized flooding on Saturday.”
The weather could play havoc with many of the activities planned around the region for the Independence Day holiday. While fireworks displays are typically held at night, when Winton said the chance for rain will be at its lowest, there are also many events planned during the daytime hours, such as the annual boat parade on Watauga Lake and the city’s celebration planned for Covered Bridge Park.
Those planning outdoor activities on the water need to keep a vigilant eye on the weather, according to Winton.
“You don’t want to be anywhere near the water during a storm,” she said. “If lightning strikes the water the current will run through the water.”
Gusty winds can also create choppy water on the lake and cause havoc for smaller boats, she said.
Campers must also watch out for winds as they may damage, destroy or even lift up tents, she said.
If a storm moves in, Winton advises everyone outdoors to seek shelter.
“If you hear thunder, move to a safe place,” she said. “Lightning is the second highest weather related killer with flooding being the first.”

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