Panovich: Severe weather possible across the Carolinas Thursday

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte area will see a threat of severe weather and flash flooding as a line of thunderstorms move across the Carolinas Wednesday into Thursday. 

First Warn chief meteorologist Brad Panovich says it’s still hard to nail down the exact timing of the storms, but expects there to be two major waves of showers and storms. One wave will move through early Thursday morning, with a secondary line coming through in the afternoon with a greater risk of severe weather. 

“I don’t think there’s a huge tornado threat, this is more like a line with straight-line winds,” Panovich said. “I am worried about the amount of wind energy in the system.” 

Pretty much all of South Carolina, as well as central and eastern North Carolina are looking at a medium threat of severe weather. Western North Carolina is at a low risk, but Panovich says even if we don’t see severe weather, there’s a significant flash flooding risk in the mountains and foothills. 

“The potential is there for flooding out of this, regardless of the severe weather threat,” Panovich explained. “Any rotation in a storm is going to cause severe storms, not necessarily tornadoes. Those things can be straight-line winds, hail and of course, tornadoes.” 

The Carolinas will have about a 30% chance of showers Tuesday afternoon before the rain chances really ramp up Wednesday night. The mountains could see heavy rain. First Warn meteorologist Iisha Scott says there’s a potential for landslides in some areas. 

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Panovich believes the wave will move through Charlotte around 5 a.m. Thursday with widespread rain and some thunderstorms. The severe weather threat isn’t great due to the time of the day, but Panovich says you can’t rule out very strong winds that could cause damage. 

As for Thursday afternoon, that’s when the severe threat goes up for Charlotte. Panovich expects the first batch of storms to move through around 1 p.m. and every couple of hours after that we’ll see periods of heavy rain and storms. 

“It won’t rain the entire time, there will be breaks,” Panovich said. “Expect waves on rain, every couple hours it will rain, the it will stop, then rain again a couple hours later.

“The basic point is to stay weather aware.”


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