Schools dismissing early due to severe weather threat

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Catawba County, Hickory Public Schools and Iredell-Statesville Schools will dismiss students early Friday due to the threat of severe weather.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Multiple school districts in the Charlotte area will dismiss students early due to the threat of severe weather Friday afternoon and evening. 

Hickory City Schools, Catawba County Schools and Iredell-Statesville Schools will all release students early Friday due to the forecast. Friday is a Weather Aware Day for the Charlotte area due to the risk of severe weather in the Carolinas. 

All three districts will release students one hour early. All afterschool activities will be canceled due to the threat of severe weather. 

Catawba County middle and high schools will dismiss at 1:30 p.m., while elementary schools will dismiss at 2:15 p.m. 

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Meteorologist Brad Panovich said Friday’s storms will be capable of producing damaging winds, hail, heavy rain and isolated tornadoes. Early afternoon sunshine combined with the peak heating of the day will increase our risk of strong storms, Panovich said. 

Panovich said the Charlotte area has a 2-5% chance of seeing a tornado. That means areas shaded in orange on the map below are at risk of seeing a tornado within 25 miles of them. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s really high. 

“Even though these seem small, these are actually significant,” Panovich said. “Think about any given day, the chance of a tornado is close to zero. So 2% is actually two times higher, 5% is five times higher than a normal day. This is a much bigger chance that it looks to appear.”

 đŸŒŠī¸ If you like weather, watch Brad Panovich and the WCNC Charlotte First Warn Weather Team on their YouTube channel, Weather IQ. đŸŽĨ

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