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Showers late to arrive; drier for weekend

A slower-than-expected cold front dragged its way into the western Carolinas on Friday morning, and forecasters say it will bring a threat of showers that could last into the evening.

National Weather Service meteorologists say the showers likely will end west of Charlotte by Friday afternoon, but the slow progress of the front could keep rain in the picture during the evening hours east of Charlotte. That could have an impact on high school football games Friday night.

Nicer conditions are expected for the rest of the weekend, although temperatures Sunday will be considerably cooler than in recent days.

A line of strong showers pushed into the mountains before daybreak Friday, but the precipitation lost its punch as it moved farther east. Some light rain fell in the Charlotte area shortly after 8 a.m.

Harry Gerapetritis, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said additional showers could form later Friday morning in the Piedmont, as the front slowly moves eastward.

Very strong winds are blowing a few thousand feet above the ground, and Gerapetritis said that if rain showers tap into that energy, they could bring strong wind gusts to the surface.

“There will be a severe wind gust threat over the lower Piedmont and in the Charlotte metro area from late morning into early afternoon,” Gerapetritis said.

On Thursday, forecasters had expected the precipitation to move east of the Charlotte region by late morning. Now that has been delayed.

Temperatures were unseasonably mild Friday morning, with readings in the summer-like upper 60s at daybreak. Only a slight change in temperature is expected for the rest of the day.

Cooler air will filter into the Carolinas on Friday night, once the cold front pushes east of Charlotte. Sunny skies are predicted for Saturday, with temperatures climbing into the upper 60s.

Then a second cold front will cross the region later Saturday. That front could bring a few showers to the mountains, but its main impact will be to deliver cooler temperatures for Sunday.

Fans attending the Carolina Panthers’ game Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Falcons will encounter temperatures in the 40s during pregame tailgating. Highs are expected to be near 60 degrees.

Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler Monday, before a warmup starts Tuesday.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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