The same potent weather system that dumped several inches of snow in the Midwest and tornadoes to the Gulf Coast swept over much of the east coast the day after Christmas.
Throughout the day the National Weather Service issued tornado warnings and watches in the Cape Fear Region and the rest of southeastern North Carolina until 5 p.m. A rare occurrence, these winter tornadoes caused a large amount of damage in southern Alabama around Mobile.
Locally, this strong winter storm also produced gale force winds, torrential rain and high surf. At 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, the NWS stated that one to two inches of rain had fallen in the Cape Fear and that another one to two inches would be expected to fall into the late afternoon. A flood watch was in effect until 3:45 p.m.
To the north and west of the system widespread snowfalls of at least 6 inches were reported from the Ohio River Valley and to the Northeast. This severe weather caused more than 750 flights to be cancelled Wednesday morning.
After the system passed over the Carolinas late Wednesday evening, a strong cold front settled into the area with projections for the next several days to be daily high temperatures in the low 50s and low temperatures dipping into the 30s.