Severe storms and tornado warnings blow through Charlotte Friday

Parts of the Charlotte region were pummeled Friday evening with waves of heavy rain, strong winds, and rotating dark clouds that may have caused tornadoes to form in some spots.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Parts of the Charlotte region were pummeled Friday evening with waves of heavy rain, strong winds, and rotating dark clouds that may have caused tornadoes to form in some spots.

The severe storms brought lightning and flooding to the Huntersville area, as well as parts of Rowan county.

 

A Tornado Warning was issued for Mecklenburg, Rowan and Cabarrus counties until 7:45 p.m.

Chief meteorologist Brad Panovich is tracked storms and rotations live in Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Cabarrus counties.

The first wave of storms hit the south Charlotte area around 2 p.m. and left nearly 1,000 Duke Energy customers without power.

Trees down in south Charlotte left one car damaged.

 

 

Trees down on a power line in Lincolnton left residents on Huss Street without power.

 

 

“The threat for tornadoes is increasing pretty quickly this afternoon because the ingredients are there that we’re going to get some tornadic storms, at least rotating thunderstorms, and with this setup, they don’t need to be really big storms to cause some issues,” Panovich said. 

Panovich's biggest concern is if the sun makes an appearance between showers. With dew points in the 70s across the Carolinas thanks to a moist, unstable mass of warm air, the sunshine will only increase the chances of severe weather.

"If any sun at all — any sun at all — comes out, we're going to have big-time issues," Panovich explained. 

For live weather updates and alerts, download the NBC Charlotte mobile app. 

"That's an interesting little storm that's going to be moving through here tomorrow," said Panovich, who believes the biggest risk of strong storms will be between 3 and 9 p.m. "I would really be concerned about any of these cells coming through."

Panovich said it's likely we see several tornado watches issued Friday with the potential for at least a couple of isolated tornadoes. Panovich currently has the tornado threat increased to 10 percent, up from the five percent probabilities forecast Thursday night. 

“I know those seem like low chances, especially if you’re thinking about rainfall, this isn’t a rainfall chance,” Panovich said. “A 10 percent or five percent chance of rainfall is not a big deal if you get caught in that, because you just get wet. If you get caught in this, you could die.

"Any time I see 5 percent or higher, that’s when you start to get a little concerned because that’s a pretty potent setup for our area."

"Basically from Charlotte south, that we'll watch for the potential for some strong, maybe even severe storms."

There is good news for the weekend, though. Panovich says with what's left of Harvey being well northwest of the Carolinas, dry air is expected to move into the Carolinas by Saturday. 

RELATED: Tornado safety tips

As for Hurricane Irma, Panovich says there currently is no threat to the United States or the Carolinas. 

A number of Charlotte-area high school football games have been rescheduled this week due to possible heavy rain that’s in the forecast for Friday.  Click here for details

Stay with WCNC.com throughout the week for updates on the latest forecast. 

© 2017 WCNC.COM


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment