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Hailstorms hammer North Carolina, smash car windows

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
May 14, 2019, 4:11:29 AM EDT

Severe thunderstorms marched across North Carolina and Florida on Monday, threatening lives and property.

A potent thunderstorm hammered areas north and east of Raleigh, North Carolina, before midday Monday. Hail as large as quarters and golf balls pelted these areas as downpours swept through. Multiple trees were downed by strong wind gusts, including some on homes near Knightdale, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Downed trees blocked traffic near Pilot as traffic lights were knocked down by gusts. Some structures were also reportedly damaged in the area. A tornado may have touched down near Zebulon, North Carolina, but the National Weather Service (NWS) has not confirmed the tornado.

Another severe storm tracked just south of Raleigh early Monday afternoon, hammering the area with hailstones as large as tennis balls, according to local emergency managers. Damage to vehicles has been reported, including large dents and smashed windows.


The windows on this car were shattered during a hailstorm in Garner, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon.


Golf ball-sized hail that fell in Garner, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon.


A golf ball mixed in with large hail that fell near Garner, North Carolina.

(Twitter/Jonathan Lowe)

A tree crushed this house in Wendell, North Carolina, after a possible tornado moved through the area.


The ground covered in golf ball-sized hail in Clayton, North Carolina.


Major damage to a car in North Carolina after a hailstorm moved through the area.

(Twitter / @zoomlinds)

Golf ball-sized hail hammered West Carey, North Carolina, on Monday, May 13, 2019.


Hailstones larger than golf balls that fell near Garner, North Carolina.

(Twitter/Trent Morris)

Hail nearly as large as a tennis ball measured in Clayton, North Carolina.


Several large hailstones that fell in North Carolina on Monday afternoon.

The storms erupted along the boundary between cool air to the north and warm air to the south. During mid-morning on Monday, temperatures ranged between the middle 50s in north-central North Carolina to near 80 along the southern coast.

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Big storms rattle Florida

Another area at risk for severe thunderstorms into Monday evening will be the central counties of the Florida Peninsula.

While temperatures are not as extreme across Florida and range from the upper 70s across the north to the middle to upper 80s farther south, it is enough for storms to erupt.

People spending time outdoors at golf courses, on pleasure boats, the beaches or the theme parks should be alert for rapidly changing weather conditions.

The Florida storms have the potential to bring torrential downpours, strong wind gusts and frequent lightning strikes. Once in a while severe thunderstorms can produce a tornado or waterspout.

The storms are likely to slowly press southward and gradually weaken Monday night.

Download the free AccuWeather app to receive severe weather alerts on your mobile device. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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