Strong tornado signature in the form of a hook echo and “debris ball” (circled) in the hook. A debris ball is tornado debris being lofted up into the atmosphere and reflecting the radar’s energy. It is confirmation that damage is occurring. There are reports of homes destroyed. Storm continues to move ENE.
For comparison, here is yesterday’s debris ball associated with the Jackson, MS tornado.
There are reports the tornado has struck Holly Springs. There is a report of a Home Depot destroyed in Sanford.
Live streaming from my friends at WRAL TV (an excellent station) is here.
2:44pm WRAL says the tornaado is headed for downtown Raleigh.
2:46pm WRAL Doppler 5000 image. Debris ball still visible. They say they have confirmed a tornado struck Holly Springs.
2:48pm “large tornado on the ground” 4 mi. SW of Downtown Raleigh per WRAL TV
NWS in Raleigh is TAKING SHELTER, switched warnings reponsibility to Blacksburg NWS office.
Debris ball near Downtown Raleigh 2:55pm
Strong Doppler signature near Downtown Raleigh at 2:57pm
4:04pm WRAL TV reporting downtown Raleigh has been hit with considerable damage. “It literally came through the middle of downtown.”
5:30pm. This was a Lowes Home Improvement Store outside Raleigh, from WRAL.