Meteorologists watched Saturday as expected heavy rain failed to materialize in the western Carolinas but said conditions remain ripe for downpours somewhere in the region through Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, heavy rain fell east of Charlotte around midday Saturday, and a flash flood watch is in effect through Sunday evening for an area including Anson, Stanly, Richmond and Montgomery counties.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service’s office in Greenville-Spartanburg had predicted a possibility of heavy rain developing Saturday morning and afternoon in scattered locations from Charlotte westward. With a stalled frontal system stretching east-to-west over South Carolina and little areas of low pressure moving along the front, conditions were ripe for heavy precipitation.
“But it didn’t happen,” said Weather Service meteorologist Doug Outlaw. “Despite that, there is strong confidence that there will be rainfall somewhere. It’s just very difficult to pin down where that will happen.”
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As a result, meteorologists have kept a high probability – 70 percent or more – of showers and thunderstorms in the Charlotte forecast through Sunday night. Yet, as forecaster Pat Moore noted, there could be periods of hours when areas are rain-free.
East of Charlotte, it was a different story Saturday. An area of heavy showers dumped up to 2 inches of rain over parts of Anson, Stanly and Richmond counties. Medteorologist Mike Moneypenny of the Weather Service’s office in Raleigh said up to 3 additional inches of rain could fall by Sunday evening in that area.
Even the temperature forecast is tricky. Meteorologists expected highs to climb no more than the mid and upper 70s Saturday and Sunday, but breaks in the clouds Saturday afternoon sent readings into the low 80s in Charlotte, Gastonia and Rock Hill.