Power outages possible as severe thunderstorms move into Charlotte area, NWS says

·3 min read
Alex Slitz/alslitz@charlotteobserver.com

Severe thunderstorms are expected to roll into the Charlotte area and cause power outages Monday afternoon, meteorologists said.

Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and areas of upper South Carolina and as far east as Bladen and Sampson counties are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10 p.m., the National Weather Service said on Twitter just after 4 p.m.

A severe thunderstorm warning issued for an area that included Charlotte Douglas International Airport expired at 6 p.m. At least 83 flights were delayed and 11 canceled since 4 p.m., according to tracking site FlightAware’s Misery Map.

Showers and thunderstorms were likely touch down in the Charlotte area after 4 p.m., according to the NWS forecast. Wind gusts up to 65 mph, isolated quarter-size hail and frequent cloud-to-ground lighting are possible and could cause damage throughout the area, according to the NWS.

As of noon, the storms were in Tennessee and headed toward Charlotte before extending to Raleigh, National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer. The storms will persist into the evening, he said.

High winds and blown-down trees or limbs could hit power lines and cause power outages, Outlaw said. Flooding also is possible around Mooresville and Hickory after those areas saw 2 inches of rain Sunday night, he said.

Monday’s stronger storms could “spin up a brief tornado,” particularly in the Interstate 77 area, Outlaw said. This will not be a “widespread event,” he said.

There is a “slight chance” for more showers between 2-5 a.m. Tuesday, according to the forecast.

Keep rain gear handy

Charlotteans should have their rain gear handy this week.

A cold front and a weak low pressure moving south toward Charlotte on Monday is fueling the rainy forecast, the NWS said. Temperatures will be below normal, especially during the middle of the week, giving the area a break from recent highs in the 90s.

On Tuesday, there’s a 30% chance for showers after 11 a.m., the NWS forecast said. Fog also will be present during the day.

There’s also a chance for rain and thunderstorms after 1 p.m. Wednesday and into the evening, the forecast said.

Friday also will see a 50% chance for rain with a high near 81, according to the forecast. Showers are expected Friday evening.

It will be a wet weekend as Saturday night and Sunday call for a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms, the forecast said. The chance of rain on Saturday is 70%.