Event Summary
     National Weather Service, Raleigh NC

October 11, 2002 Severe Weather and Flooding Event

  • Introduction - A stalled frontal boundary combined with a southwesterly flow of moisture, an approaching Tropical Storm, and a series of upper level disturbances resulted in a variety of severe weather across central North Carolina from Thursday evening through Friday evening (October 11, 2002).

    The active weather started on Thursday evening as widespread rain moved into much of the western and northern Piedmont of North Carolina. This rainfall was focused along a frontal boundary in Piedmont region as warm, moist air surged over a cooler airmass near the surface. Flooding was reported late Thursday evening through the morning hours on Friday across portions of Durham, Granville and Person counties.

    The area of heaviest rain shifted east during the morning and early afternoon hours affecting much of the remainder of the northern Piedmont region. Flooding was reported across Chatham, Durham, Granville, Vance, Wake, Franklin and Johnston counties as 4 to 6 inches of rain fell across the area. The Raleigh-Durham airport set a daily record with 5.33 inches of rain falling on October 11, 2002.

    An unstable airmass to the south and east of the frontal system combined with the wind shear associated with the approaching Tropical Storm resulted in an environment that resulted in some severe weather. A series of thunderstorms developed across the eastern Piedmont of North Carolina shortly after noon on Friday. Two of the storms became tornadic across central North Carolina with tornado touchdowns reported in Edgecombe, Johnston, and Wilson counties. Other tornadoes were reported in the coastal region of North Carolina.

    The first tornado touchdown was in southeastern Edgecombe county near the community of Conetoe at around 130 PM EDT. This storm damaged 9 structures and was estimated to be of F1 strength. The second tornado touchdown was over far northeastern Johnston county near the community of Kenly at about 200 PM EDT. The F0-F1 tornado moved northeast along and near Interstate 95 into southwestern Wilson county before dissipating near Lamms Crossroads at about 215 PM EDT.

    The severe weather diminished quickly during the mid afternoon hours on Friday with the area of heavy rain shifting east across the Piedmont of North Carolina into the Coastal Plain and Coastal region during the evening.



    Severe weather affected large portions of central North Carolina on October 10th and 11th.

    Flooding was reported across much of northern Piedmont area with two tornadoes affecting central portions of the coastal plain.










    Kenly Storm Damage Imagery

    Photo from NWS survey team of Kenly, NC Tornado.

    Damage Photo from NWS survery team of Kenly, NC Tornado - Click to enlarge



    Photo from NWS survey team of Kenly, NC Tornado.

    Damage Photo from NWS survery team of Kenly, NC Tornado - Click to enlarge



    Photo from NWS survey team of Kenly, NC Tornado.

    Damage Photo from NWS survery team of Kenly, NC Tornado - Click to enlarge





  • Surface Analysis -



    NCEP Surface Analysis from 18Z Friday October 11, 2002.

    NCEP Surface Analysis from 18Z Friday October 11

    Java Loop of Surface Analysis from 12Z Thursday October 10 through 12Z Saturday October 12 2002.





  • Satellite Imagery -



    Infrared Satellite 1715Z Friday October 11, 2002

    Infrared Satellite 1715Z Friday October 11 - Click to enlarge





    Visible Satellite 1715Z Friday October 11, 2002

    Visible Satellite 1715Z Friday October 11 - Click to enlarge
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  • Radar Imagery -



    Conetoe Storm Imagery

    KRAX Storm Relative Velocity 0.5 degree elevation from 1723Z Friday, October 11 2002.

    KRAX Storm Relative Velocity 1.5 degree elevation from 1723Z - Click to enlarge



    KRAX Storm Relative Velocity 1.5 degree elevation from 1723Z Friday, October 11 2002.

    KRAX Storm Relative Velocity 1.5 degree elevation from 1723Z - Click to enlarge







    Kenly Storm Imagery

    KRAX Storm Relative Velocity 1.5 degree elevation from 1822Z Friday, October 11 2002.

    KRAX Storm Relative Velocity 1.5 degree elevation from 1822Z - Click to enlarge







    Precipitation Imagery

    24 Hour Precipitation Imagery from 12Z Friday, October 11 through 12Z Saturday, October 12, 2002.

    24 Hour Precipitation Imagery - Click to enlarge








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