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Panthers fans might escape heaviest of Sunday’s rain

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The Carolina Panthers and their fans might escape the heaviest of the rain that is expected to drench the Carolinas on Sunday, forecasters say.

A strong storm system began plowing into the midsection of the United States on Saturday, spawning tornado watches to the south of the storm’s center and a variety of winter warnings on the north side.

The Carolinas will remain on the southeast side of the storm as it passes into the Great Lakes on Sunday, and that means showers and thunderstorms for the Charlotte region. But meteorologists say fans attending the 1 p.m. Panthers-New Orleans Saints game could catch a break.

“Right now, it looks like only spotty shower activity during the Panthers’ game,” said Chris Horne of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C. “The heaviest activity in the Charlotte area likely will come at night.”

And it could be heavy. Flood watches were posted Saturday for much of Georgia, and Horne said weather service meteorologists might issue similar watches for the Carolinas on Sunday.

Computer models indicate more than 2 inches of rain could fall from Sunday evening through Monday morning across the region.

The warm weather will continue through Sunday, forecasters say.

Saturday’s high temperature record in Charlotte was broken at 2 p.m., when the reading was 73 degrees. That broke the mark of 71, set in 1998.

An even older record is in jeopardy Sunday, with highs forecast in the lower 70s again. The mark for the date is 72, set in 1889.

A cold front is forecast to cross the region on Monday, bringing an end to the rain in the afternoon. Cooler temperatures will follow.

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