Heavy rain, possible flooding, forecast in Charlotte area starting Thursday afternoon

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Up to three inches of rain is headed to the Charlotte area by the end of the week, and the National Weather Service says flooding is possible in some parts of Mecklenburg County.

Forecasters say the storm system — which brought severe weather to Gulf Coast states — will dump1 to 2 inches of widespread rain on the Charlotte region Thursday and Friday.

Up to 3 inches of rain could fall in counties to the west, says the National Weather Service forecast.

The rain could start as early as 3 p.m. Thursday and will continue through the night into Friday, say NWS forecasters.

Saturday will be clear, but more rain will move in Sunday and persist throughout New Year’s Eve, forecasters say.

“We’ll see scattered rain showers by Thursday afternoon, and then the rain really ramps up for Thursday night into Friday,” says WBTV meteorologist Chris Larson. “Friday looks to be a washout. Rain will be heavy at times from Friday morning and into Friday night. Several inches of rain is likely to fall in and around the Charlotte area.”

A flood watch is in effect for Charlotte until Saturday morning, with forecasters citing potential problems in the Mountain Island Dam area, Mount Holly and northwest Charlotte. Flooding is also possible in west central Mecklenburg County and eastern central Gaston County, says the NWS.

Showers are likely on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with a 60 percent chance both days, predicts the National Weather Service.

Temperatures are expected to stay above freezing in the Charlotte area during the storm, with lows only in the upper 40s and lower 50s, reports the NWS.