Brad Panovich: Severe weather threat for Charlotte Tuesday
Tuesday’s rain is a big relief for drought-stricken areas, but Brad Panovich says a series of storms could bring severe weather to the Charlotte area.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte area is getting some much-needed rain on Tuesday but Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich It also tracks the threat of severe weather across the Carolinas.
The biggest threats will be heavy rain, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes late Tuesday afternoon and into the evening, Panovich said. The key to setting up severe weather is whether there is any warming between periods of rain Tuesday afternoon. Simply put, the higher the temperature, the greater the risk of severe thunderstorms.
As of 1 p.m., Charlotte had recorded 1.1 inches of rain, according to Panovich. In the past 80 days, Charlotte has received only 1.95 inches.
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Panovich says a warm front will roll in with a wave of rain around 3 p.m. The timing of that front will determine whether Charlotte and surrounding areas will see severe weather.
“If it happens before then, that line that it’s moving down will probably be strong or sharp,” Panovich said. “If the clouds and residual drizzle keep the atmosphere stable, and the warm front doesn’t turn northward, that would keep us a little more on the good old rain side. But that seems like a very strong way to go by like 4 or 5 a.m. trying to move into the mountains.” Then slowly to Piedmont.”
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Panovich said a line of rain and storms will move into western North Carolina around 4 p.m. Tuesday. It will then trace the foothills before making its way into the Piedmont and Charlotte metro area by 8 p.m.
3-5 pm: Blowing Rock, Boone, Jefferson
4-6 pm: Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton, Taylorsville
6-8 pm.: Charlotte, Concord, Fort Mill, Gastonia, Huntersville, Lincolnton, Morrisville, Pineville, Rock Hill, Shelby, Waxhaw
Panovich and meteorologist Chris Mulcahy agree the greatest danger will be in areas south and east of Charlotte. These areas include Monroe, Rockingham, Lancaster, Wadesboro and Cheraw.
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The biggest risk will be straight-line winds, but Panovich said you can’t rule out an isolated tornado if conditions are just right.
“It’s a small tornado risk, and the overall risk is very low, but the wind risk could be very high as it approaches from the west,” Panovich said.