Several strong thunderstorms are drifting across the Charlotte region Friday evening, bringing a bit of relief from a hot and humid day.
Several thunderstorm warnings were in effect at 6 p.m. for parts of Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Chester and York counties. Those warnings were dropped a short time later, when the storms weakened somewhat.
There have been no reports of damage in the immediate Charlotte area, but wind damage was noted earlier Friday afternoon in the foothills.
A severe thunderstorm watch has been posted until 10 p.m. for areas east of Charlotte, including Anson, Montgomery, Richmond and Stanly counties. The strong storms near Charlotte are expected to move into those areas after 7 p.m.
Forecasters say they expect more of the same Saturday -- heat and humidity, followed by an outbreak of heavy storms in the late-afternoon and evening hours.
The unofficial high temperature Friday in Charlotte was 97 degrees, but the oppressive humidity created a heat index of nearly 105 degrees at times during the day.
Earlier Friday afternoon, strong winds blew down trees east of Dysartsville in Burke County. More extensive tree damage was noted in Hendersonville and near the town of Columbus in Polk County. Those areas are about 80 miles west of Charlotte.
Earlier today, meteorologists said they expected less-humid and less-stormy conditions for Saturday. But they now say a rather potent area of low pressure in the upper atmoisphere will cross the region in the afternoon, triggering more storms.