Periods of heavy rainfall are still expected in the Charlotte area Saturday evening through Monday, as Hurricane Nate approaches landfall in the Gulf Coast.
The storm strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane early Saturday, and is expected to become a Category 2 storm before it makes landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Once on land, Nate is expected to weaken quickly into a tropical storm, but its impacts will still be felt in Charlotte and western North Carolina.
The heaviest rain should stay to the west of the Charlotte area, according to Lauren Carroll, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. However, the region is still expected to have 1 to 2 inches of rain from Saturday night through Monday morning, she said.
The heaviest rainfall is expected in western North Carolina and in the mountains, with 5 to 7 inches possible by Monday morning, Carroll said. Wind gusts in the mountains could reach around 35 mph.
There is a chance for a few downed trees and power outages, Carroll said, but ultimately, impacts in the state should be significantly less than the rain and wind experienced during Hurricane Irma in September.
“It’s probably a good step down from that,” she said.
LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS