HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - NASCAR canceled pole qualifying at Richmond International Raceway and track officials told spectators to clear the grandstands, due to severe weather.
The Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying was canceled, as the area is under a tornado watch. Spectators said to secure items at campsites and take precautions, due to the severe weather forecast.
Areas south of the track, including Chesterfield, Amelia, and Powhatan are under a tornado warning.
However, Henrico, Richmond, Cumberland and New Kent are under a tornado watch through 9 p.m. Friday.
Areas already under the earlier watch include Prince Edward, Prince George, Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry, Sussex, York, Charles City and James City counties. It also includes Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg.
The First Warning Weather team is monitoring the threat for severe thunderstorms, including damaging, gusty winds and hail. A brief, spin-up tornado cannot be ruled out across southeast Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. The peak timing for severe weather will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Click here to track the storms using our interactive radar: http://bit.ly/1fzVspL
Click here to download the First Warning Weather App: http://bit.ly/NBC12apps
Sunshine returns for the weekend. Highs will be near 80 Saturday. A surface cold front will press through the area late Saturday and could bring showers, but the chance is very low.
Next week looks cooler and much wetter. In fact, rain moves in late Monday and will probably continue off and on through Thursday.