Heavy showers and thunderstorms remain in the Charlotte forecast, but the area was sitting high and dry late Tuesday afternoon – nearly 24 hours after the severe weather had been predicted to begin.
A tornado watch has been issued into the evening hours for areas east of Charlotte, including Anson, Stanly, Richmond and Montgomery counties.
But as has been the case all day, weather radar is showing little activity.
Meteorologists attribute the lack of thunderstorm activity so far to a pocket of cool and stable air that pushed southward early Tuesday across the Charlotte region. The front dividing the cooler air from the warm and unstable conditions was along the Carolinas border for much of the day Tuesday.
At 4 p.m., it was 78 degrees with a south wind in Rock Hill, but only 59 degrees with a northeast wind in Lincolnton. Charlotte was at 70 degrees, apparently right along the front.
To this point, forecasters’ predictions of severe weather and flood-producing storms have failed to materialize, except in the Foothills, where a cluster of showers and thunderstorms dumped up to 3 inches of rain in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday.
Flash flooding was reported near Asheville, and crews were forced to rescue at least 10 people.
Rescues were needed shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday in Woodfin, north of Asheville. Capt. Chris Dorsey of the Woodfin Fire Department said several homes were flooded, according to the Associated Press. The AP said three people were taken to a hospital for treatment of possible hypothermia, but no serious injuries were reported.
Other than those storms, the central and western Carolinas have remained dry. Two tornadoes were reported Tuesday afternoon in extreme eastern North Carolina, however.
It is not clear when – or even if – severe weather will affect the Charlotte region.
The National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said Tuesday afternoon that it still expects storm activity to develop Tuesday evening. Additional heavy storms are forecast for Wednesday.
Frank Perry, North Carolina’s Secretary of Public Safety, said residents need to pay heed to watches and warnings. “We have all seen how quickly storms can strike, and it is extremely important for everyone to stay tuned to local weather reports to get the most up-to-date information,” he said.