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Boring summer weather; threat for boaters remains

Typical, quiet summertime weather has arrived in the Charlotte region and could stay awhile, but the region’s boaters have a left-over problem from the recent heavy rains.

A few brief heavy showers crossed the area Sunday, but meteorologists say high pressure will take control of weather in the Carolinas for at least the early part of this week.

That means a much-diminished threat of thunderstorms and much-warmer temperatures, climbing into the 90s by Tuesday.

Rain has fallen somewhere in Mecklenburg County on 22 of the past 23 days, and precipitation totals across the region since June 1 range from about 12 inches to 16 or 17 inches. That is anywhere from 250 percent to 400 percent of average.

But no rainfall is expected Monday.

“I’m expecting a relatively dry day today, with more sunshine than has been seen in quite a while,” said Andrew Kimball, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C.

High temperatures are expected to reach the upper 80s Monday afternoon. Tack on a few more degrees Tuesday, Kimball said. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the late-afternoon and evening hours returns to the forecast by Wednesday and Thursday, he said. But highs are expected to be in the range of 90 to 95 degrees all week.

The summer weather is likely to bring out more boaters, and officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Duke Energy are urging the area’s boaters to be extra careful on the Catawba River lakes.

Heavy rain in the foothills and mountains sent the lakes to capacity or above last week. Mountain Island Lake, for example, was between 2 and 3 feet above full level for parts of last week. The morning water level at Mountain Island was 1.5 feet below full level, which has allowed lake-side flooding to subside.

But, authorities say, the high water sent large limbs, trees and other obstructions into the lakes and the Catawba River.

“The high water can create unsafe boating conditions with submerged and floating debris,” said Erik Christofferson, chief of engineering and lands management for the Wildlife Resources Commission.

In addition, Duke Energy says it is sending large amounts of water through dams in the various Catawba River lakes. They say boaters and other should stay away from the area immediately above and below dams. The unusual swirling currents can pull boats and people under the water.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
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