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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Severe storms are expected to bring damaging winds to the Charlotte-area later this evening.
First Warn Meteorologist Brad Panovich said a cluster of storms to our north is expected to drop down into the mountains and then move down across the Piedmont.
Panovich said the sunshine and very warm temperatures in the Charlotte-area is fuel for thunderstorms later in the day.
“The combination of hot humid air at the surface and cooler air aloft sets the stage for really severe weather. We call that instability,” Panovich said.
Panovich said a good portion of the Charlotte-area is in the medium threat area with a low threat extending into the Columbia area. Panovich said the severe weather outlook could shift even more as the day progresses.
As far as timing, Panovich believes the Charlotte -area will begin to see some isolated thunderstorms by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
“I still think late-evening is probably the biggest threat because that will maximize the heating of the day also with the arrival of this,” Panovich said.
According to Panovich, these storms should be fast-moving, which means they should not bring flash flood threats. But Panovich said thunderstorms can still produce a lot of rain in a very short amount of time.
The Carolinas should also be alert for some isolated tornadoes as the storm rolls through.
“This has got a little more of a tornado threat than we normally see,” Panovich said. “A tornado threat is really not our highest [threat] — it’s straight-line winds.”
There’s about a 2% chance for an isolated tornado around the Roanoke area and then less than 2% for the Charlotte area, Panovich reports.
Panovich said the Carolinas really need to worry about the wind threat with this storm.
“The wind threat is in the 15% range so that’s by far our highest probability of seeing some damage today,” Panovich said.