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February 19, 2014

Early-morning thunderstorms rattle Charlotte area

The early-morning storms arrived in Charlotte one week to the day after several inches of snow fell.

Charlotte-area residents got an early-morning wake-up Wednesday as a series of thunderstorms rumbled along an advancing warm front.

One week to the day after several inches of snow fell in the Carolinas, the storms formed in South Carolina and progressed northward. The thunderstorms brought vivid lightning that might have been responsible for setting two residential fires in Charlotte, some window-rattling thunder and heavy rain.

The storms dumped nearly 1.5 inches of rain on Charlotte overnight. That caused a few reports of street flooding, including problems that closed a ramp on the Brookshire Freeway leading to southbound Interstate 77, and a portion of Idlewild Road west of N.C. 51 along the Matthews-Mint Hill line.

The warm frontal passage was the first of several fronts that will cross the region over the next 48 hours. A weak cold front is expected to move into the Carolinas on Wednesday afternoon, possibly causing some mountain showers and storms, and then that front is predicted to move back northward early Thursday morning as a warm front. When that happens, a few showers are possible early Thursday morning in the Charlotte area.

Finally, a stronger cold front will move through the region Friday.

Temperatures are forecast to approach 70 degrees Wednesday afternoon, then make it into the upper 60s Thursday and Friday. Behind Friday’s front, high temperatures are predicted to reach the middle 60s Saturday and Sunday.

Much colder air is forecast to return next week.

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