Severe weather for Charlotte, surrounding counties

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Severe storms are expected to bring damaging winds to the entire Charlotte region Monday this evening. 

First Warn Meteorologist Brad Panovich said a cluster of storms will move south and east across the area Monday. The storms, which are already bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to the western North Carolina mountains, will arrive in Charlotte and the Piedmont during the evening rush hour.

Panovich said the sunshine and very warm temperatures in Charlotte is prime fuel for thunderstorms.

“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 explained.

Severe threat


Panovich said Charlotte is in the medium threat for severe weather with a low threat extending into the Columbia area. The primary threat will be damaging winds, but isolated occurrences of hail or a brief tornado could not be ruled out. Periods of heavy rain will also pose a risk to drivers.

Severe Threat

Severe Threat

Damaging winds will be the primary threat with storms Monday, but isolated hail or a brief tornado could not be ruled out.


The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Charlotte, along with the western North Carolina foothills and mountains, through 7 p.m.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Charlotte, and all of western North Carolina, through 7 p.m. The threat area could be expanded.


By 2 p.m., Severe Thunderstorm Warnings had already been issued for some counties in the mountains, including Ashe and Watauga. 

As far as timing, Panovich believes the Charlotte -area will begin to see some isolated thunderstorms by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. Periods of heavy rain will continue through the evening rush hour.

“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. 

Panovich said the Severe Thunderstorm Watch could expand to our east later today.

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.  

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