A strong thunderstorm powered across several Charlotte-area counties Tuesday morning, triggering several tornado warnings but doing only minor damage, according to early reports.
By early Tuesday afternoon, the line of showers and storms had pushed east of the Charlotte region. No warnings were in effect.
National Weather Service meteorologists say the passage of the storms likely will end the severe weather threat for the Charlotte area. They say wind shear -- winds moving from different directions and different altitudes -- is lessening across the area.
A few showers and thunderstorms could develop later Tuesday afternoon and evening as a cold front approaches from the west.
Earlier Tuesday, tornado warnings were issued for parts of Cherokee (S.C.), Cleveland, Lincoln, Catawba and Iredell counties.
The only damage report came from southern Cleveland County. A weather spotter near the town of Earl reported several trees downed by wind gusts about 9:30 a.m.
Meteorologists at the Weather Service’s office in Greer, S.C., said weather radar detected a rotation in a thunderstorm as it passed across Cherokee and Cleveland counties between 9 and 10 a.m. The storm weakened as it crossed western Gaston and central Lincoln counties, but the rotation returned inside the storm as it approached Lake Norman around 11 a.m.
The warning sent people looking for cover.
According to tweets, students at several Cleveland County schools were moved to shelter as tornado warning policies were put into effect. Sirens sounded across the county.
As the storm passed over Lake Norman, employees at the Lowes headquarters in Mooresville also took shelter inside the offices.
The strong storms formed along a warm front that moved northward overnight from South Carolina into North Carolina. Areas along and south of the front are in warm and humid air. A weak low pressure system moving along that warm front provided enough lift in the atmosphere to trigger thunderstorm formation.
Earlier Tuesday morning, strong storms damaged five homes near Anderson, S.C., in extreme western South Carolina.
The warm front was stationary across the middle of South Carolina on Monday, and the Charlotte region was locked in chilly air on a rainy day. Temperatures hovered in the lower 60s for much of the day. But the warm front began pushing northward in the evening, and the temperature in Charlotte climbed from 63 degrees at 9 p.m. to 73 at 6 a.m.
Temperatures on Tuesday will be nearly 20 degrees warmer than Monday, with Charlotte’s high reaching about 80 degrees.
Much nicer conditions -- partly to mostly sunny skies, and highs in the low 80s -- are forecast for Wednesday through Friday.
Then a strong cold front will cross the region later in the weekend, bringing a shot of much cooler temperatures again.