Locals and those traveling through Scotland County received a late Christmas present from Mother Nature Wednesday as the severe weather that was forecast to cause trouble in Scotland County left little damage in its wake.
While it was not a white Christmas, it does appear that Scotland County got lucky with the weather. The line of storms that spun off nearly three dozen tornadoes and left six dead in the South on Christmas barely registered in Scotland County.
A tornado watch was issued for a large area extending from the coast and west to Laurinburg throughout the day on Wednesday. At one point a tornado warning, indicating that a tornado like system could reach the area, was issued for Robeson County. That warning was latter canceled as the storm fizzled.
Based on the dire predictions of area and national meteorologists, who said on Tuesday that central North Carolina would experience severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and hail and even tornadoes, many locals were preparing for bad weather.
Area meteorologist Ed Piotrowski said on Tuesday that people in the region needed to take “Wednesday’s severe weather threat seriously.” Piotrowski said that the line of storms could spawn a certain type of weather event associated with tornadoes.
“These storms, called supercells, are notorious for producing strong tornadoes that can stay on the ground for a lengthy amount of time,” said Piotrowski on Facebook of the storms that could have been created on Wednesday.
According to local officials, the bad weather led to only a single call to report a downed tree in Scotland County.
“We got one call of a tree down on the northern end of the county, but that was all,” said Deanna Carlyle, an emergency services dispatcher for the county.
Local emergency services officials have been tracking the weather, said Carlyle, whose office has its own weather computer.
Because of the holiday travel rush, Carlyle said it is likely that TV meteorologists were playing it safe with their forecasts of severe weather which did not come to pass.
Laurinburg Fire Department officials were also breathing a sigh of relief on Wednesday. According to fire house workers, no calls were received on Wednesday related to the weather.