Weather Aware Day: Tornado warnings expired for three metro counties

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Parts of Alexander, Iredell, and Catawba counties need to stay sheltered until 7:30 p.m.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three counties in the Charlotte region were under tornado warnings until 7:30 p.m. Tornado watches are also in effect for numerous counties, including Mecklenburg, Rowan, Gaston, Union, Catawba, Alexander, Cabarrus, Iredell and Lincoln counties. Stay Weather Aware for potential storms.

Eastern Catawba County, southeastern Alexander County, and west-central Iredell County were affected by the warning issued by the National Weather Service just before 6:45 p.m. A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near the towns of Newton and Maiden, moving northeast at 30 miles per hour.

In addition to the tornado, quarter-sized hail was deemed a possible hazard.

The potential for strong-to-severe thunderstorms in the Carolinas has made Thursday a day to be Weather Aware.

Thursday is the only day where rain is in the forecast this week. The day overall will be a windy and cloudy one but the chance for severe storms will strictly be based on whether we end up seeing sunshine. 

What is happening

A large storm system has been plaguing the south and dropped a strong tornado in Louisiana.

RELATED: Tornado destroys a Slidell business

The Charlotte area will be in between two areas where there will be widespread severe thunderstorms but there will still be some isolated strong storms later in the afternoon. 

The storm window and the key factor:

Cloudy skies and scattered light to moderate rain showers start the afternoon but from 3-8 p.m. will be the best chance for severe thunderstorms. A few storms could produce some gusty damaging winds but there is an outside chance for some rotation and an isolated severe thunderstorm.

The key to it all is storm fuel and sunshine. This cloudy and scattered rain that precedes this window is creating stable air, so any place that gets some blue sky for an hour or two will have an elevated shot at a quick developing severe thunderstorm.

RELATED: Severe weather stats and facts to know for severe weather season

Strong non-thunderstorm winds:

Winds already brought down some trees and power lines last night and early this morning. Winds will be gusty not only today but tomorrow as well due to the two cold fronts moving through. Winds could gust from 30-40 mph, taking out power today and/or tomorrow outside of the severe threat in place.

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