‘Severe’ storms threaten the Charlotte region with large hail, damaging winds Saturday

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What to do before a tornado

Knowing what to do before a tornado strikes could keep you and your loved ones safe. Here’s how to prepare for the force of nature.

Knowing what to do before a tornado strikes could keep you and your loved ones safe. Here’s how to prepare for the force of nature.

“Severe” thunderstorms could bring large hail and damaging winds to the Charlotte region on Saturday, according to hazardous weather outlook statement by the National Weather Service office in Greer, SC.

Numerous scattered storms are expected to develop across the area Saturday afternoon, according to the statement issued at 5:33 p.m. Friday.

“Some of these storms may reach severe levels, with brief damaging winds and large hail being the primary threats,” NWS meteorologists said in the statement.

Areas that could see fierce storms include Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, the N.C. mountains and parts of South Carolina including York and Chester counties and Greenville-Spartanburg.

Scattered storms with “lightning, locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds” also were expected across the region Friday night, according to the NWS bulletin.

Saturday’s high at Charlotte’s airport is forecast to reach 85 degrees Saturday.

Showers are likely on Sunday with the possibility of more thunderstorms, NWS forecasters said.

Severe summer-like storms already damaged parts of the Carolinas in March and April.

On March 1, a photographer captured images of the first confirmed tornado to strike the Carolinas in 2019 and the damage left in the South Carolina city of Abbeville, The Charlotte Observer reported that weekend. Abbeville is about an hour south of Greenville.

Abbeville tornado 1.jpg Andy Bagwell of Abbeville, SC, took this photo of a funnel cloud just before it touched down in Abbeville, S.C., on Friday night. Courtesy of Andy Bagwell

Powerful storms flooded roads in York County, S.C., and delivered 70 mph winds and ping pong ball-size hail to Morganton, N.C., April 13, the Observer reported at the time.

York Flooding Screenshot.JPG Severe storms flooded and washed out roads in York County, S.C., on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Screenshot of Twitter photo

On April 19, an EF-0 tornado touched down in Gaston County and sped northeast into Lincoln County before lifting north of Lincolnton, Observer news partner WBTV reported.

Fierce crosswinds that night also diverted planes from landing at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Some planes had to land at the Columbia, SC, airport, the Observer reported.

At the NC coast, the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office posted dramatic video of severe weather that raced across farmland April 26, ripping off roofs and hurling debris 200 yards, the Observer reported that weekend. The storm later was dubbed a “gustnado.”

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