A severe thunderstorm warning for Mecklenburg County expired at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, as the hail- and high-wind-producing storm moved south through Union County.
As the storms weakened late Tuesday, they left power outages and trees down in some areas south of Charlotte, including Matthews, Indian Trails and SouthPark.
Some 1,699 residents were without power in Mecklenburg County just before 5 p.m. In Union County, Duke Energy reported close to 5,600 people without power.
Quarter-sized hail and lightning was reported in all of those areas and in University City.
The power is out at SouthPark after a tree fell in the 2300 block of Carmel Road just before 4:40 p.m., affecting power lines and causing emergency crews to shut down the road.
And in the 2200 block of Colony Road, firefighters were responding to a tree that had fallen on a house.
High winds, lightning and hail were recorded in the Matthews area at 4 p.m. Weather Bug, a private weather company, said a sensor at St Matthew Elementary School, near I-485 and Rea Road, measured a wind gust of nearly 40 mph at 3:30 pm.
And rain was falling at a rate of 1.5 inches per hour in the same area.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were responding to some 20 accidents across the area at 3:40 p.m., including several reports of traffic light issues.
Meteorologists say the storm activity was scattered -- more like Monday than Sunday’s widespread storm development.
The fickle nature of thunderstorm development was on display before daybreak Tuesday, when a cluster of heavy showers and storms developed east of Charlotte, in a corridor from Randolph County southward across Montgomery, eastern Stanly, Anson, Richmond and Chesterfield (S.C.) counties.
The storms developed about 3 a.m. in Anson and Stanly counties. The area expanded to the north and south. By daybreak, the heaviest rain was falling from Pageland, S.C., northward through Wadesboro, Ansonville and Troy.
The National Weather says rainfall was nearly 3 inches in Bennettsville, S.C., and 2.6 inches in the Richmond County city of Rockingham. Widespread 1-inch amounts were reported across eastern Stanly and Anson counties.
Dense fog formed across much of the Piedmont and foothills before daybreak but dissipated at mid-morning. Conditions are humid, and the Weather Service says it expects thunderstorms to begin developing by mid-afternoon.
Scott Krentz, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said atmospheric readings show an elevated risk of strong downdrafts and even hail from some storms later Tuesday in the Piedmont.
More thunderstorm activity is expected Wednesday, but the storms will be more widespread Thursday, when a cold front moves through.
High temperatures the next few days are expected to be in the middle 80s.
Cooler weather is forecast to arrive Friday, with highs in the mid 70s and morning lows in the low 50s. Temperatures will recover a few degrees to near 80 for Sunday and Monday.
Steele: 704-458-5067 on Twitter: @steelecs
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less