RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A tornado warning was allowed to expire at 6 p.m. but severe thunderstorm warnings were then issued for several areas Friday evening in central North Carolina.
A tornado was spotted on the ground in northern Orange County around 5:20 p.m.
The tornado warning was issued for western Person, Orange and Durham counties until 6 p.m. Damage was then seen in northern Orange County.
The final severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 9:15 p.m. for Vance County, Warren County, Edgecombe County and Halifax County until 10 p.m., when it was allowed to expire.
Half-dollar-sized hail and a 60 mph wind gust were reported near Raleigh-Durham International Airport near Cary just before 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
Officials also reported lightning strikes caused damage and fires to three homes Friday afternoon.
One fire was reported just before 4 p.m. following a lightning strike at a home in southern Durham along Park Glen Place that damaged to the rear of the home. About five minutes later lightning hit a home along Advancement Avenue.
There was also a house fire along Trotters Ridge Drive in northern Wake County off Six Forks Road just north of Durant Road.
ALERT DAY: Tornado watch issued Friday for central NC
Hazards of the thunderstorms include expected hail damages, with 60 mph wind gusts and up to quarter-size hail.
A tornado watch also will remain in effect until 10 p.m. in central North Carolina. The NWS asks that people in these areas prepare immediately by seeking shelter as “large hail and deadly cloud to ground lightning” are possible.