A wedge of cool, damp air that had covered the Charlotte region since Saturday evening weakened Monday afternoon and was replaced by partial sunshine.
National Weather Service meteorologists said temperatures, which had been expected to hold in the mid-70s under cloudy skies, instead will shoot into the low and mid-80s during the afternoon.
“It looks like we have finally broken out of the wedge,” Harry Gerapetritis, of the Weather Service’s Greenville-Spartanburg office, said at midafternoon Monday. “We’re watching temperatures already in the low 80s in Chester (S.C.), and we expect that to happen in the Charlotte area.”
Gerapetritis said the sunshine and warmer temperatures will probably intensify some of the showers that have dotted the Charlotte area for much of the day, but he said the precipitation is scattered.
“Some places have gotten fairly significant rainfall today, like Rock Hill, which has recorded about 1 1/2 inches,” Gerapetritis said. “But the rainfall rates haven’t really been heavy enough to increase flooding worries.”
He said much of the Charlotte area likely will see partly sunny skies during the afternoon, with the current showers dissipating. That will be followed by several hours of dry weather before an area of showers and thunderstorms now over eastern Tennessee affects the area later this evening.
The wedge of cool air pushed southward across the Charlotte area Saturday evening and was responsible for gloomy conditions during the day Sunday and through Monday morning.
Gerapetritis said the pattern will change considerably Tuesday, when a cold front pushes across the region.
“The thunderstorms on Tuesday could be stronger,” he said, adding that instability in the atmosphere will be increased. “But we’re not looking at a line of severe storms, or anything like that.”
The cold front will be followed by drier conditions and daily high temperatures in the mid-80s. That will be a few degrees below average but much more like typical mid-August conditions. The drier air is forecast to continue for several days.