Tornado, flood risks in the Carolinas tonight, tomorrow

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Remnants of Ida closing in on the Carolina’s with heavy rain and severe weather risks. Watch for flash flooding and isolated tornadoes tonight into tomorrow.

Brad Panovich, Larry Sprinkle, Chris Mulcahy, Brittany Van Voorhees (WCNC), KJ Jacobs

1:07 PM EDT August 31, 2021

1:19 PM EDT August 31, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The remnants of Ida are now moving inland over the Carolinas this afternoon. with steady rain in the mountains. Ida made landfall Sunday afternoon in Port Fourchon, Louisiana as a category four hurricane with max sustained winds of 150 mph. A much weaker Ida in terms of wind potential is now lifting over the Tennessee Valley with a path near western North Carolina over the mountains. 

Local impacts close to home as the storm passes include the risk for tornadoes and flash flooding. The severe risk is low for the possibility of isolated tornadoes. There’s a 2% probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a point. Be weather aware during the evening and overnight hours and again Wednesday morning. 

The severe weather risk continues into Wednesday with a second round of isolated tornadoes. 

As the severe weather risk is strong for the mountains and western parts of the region, emergency crews are preparing now. The Charlotte Fire Department says their own Task Force 3 is deploying to a forward staging area in Conover to aid in responding to the potential impact Ida’s remains will bring. This includes a 23-member swift water team that will be on standby.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until Wednesday afternoon. Our biggest threat during this period is flash flooding in the mountains. The threat outlook is medium to high for western North Carolina, primarily over the mountains in Avery, Watauga, and Ashe counties, as well as the foothills in Caldwell and Burke counties. All have a medium risk of flash flooding as heavy rain bands overhead later today and tonight. 

Up to two inches of rainfall is possible for the communities in and around the Charlotte metro and two to four inches of rainfall may impact the mountains. Locally higher amounts are possible where heavy rain bands develop. Rainfall of five inches or more in similar storms has resulted in flooding on roadways, landslides, and rockslides. 

Meanwhile, much of the daylight will likely remain dry into the afternoon with only a slight chance for showers and storms. Be on alert with multiple ways to get notified if a tornado warning is issued. Right now, there is not a tornado watch in effect for the Charlotte area. 

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