The switch was flipped from “summer” to “autumn” across the Carolinas on the first full day of fall Tuesday, as low clouds and chilly temperatures replaced the much warmer weather that had covered the area in recent days.
A low pressure system that developed along the Carolinas coast late Monday proved to be stronger than meteorologists expected, sending clouds and rain showers into the Charlotte area. Forecasters originally though the clouds and rain would be limited to the coast.
The cloudy weather and threat of showers will hang around for a few days, forecasters said, although Charlotte-area residents probably will see a bit of sunshine and milder temperatures Wednesday and Thursday.
Autumn officially began at 10:29 p.m. Monday, and Tuesday’s weather looked the part.
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Temperatures in Charlotte hovered around 60 degrees for much of the day – about 20 to 25 degrees cooler than last weekend. The morning low in Boone was a chilly 39 degrees.
The coastal storm system brought a northeast wind of 10 to 15 mph and a few showers into the area. Farther to the west, the mountains escaped much of the gloomy conditions, with sunshine reported closer to the Tennessee border.
At the coast, it was a different story. Rain fell much of the day, and meteorologist Brian Lada of Accu-Weather said 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall over the next few days along the Carolinas coast. Some coastal flooding is possible along the Outer Banks on Wednesday, Lada said.
National Weather Service forecasters said a few breaks of sun are possible Wednesday, with highs recovering to the low or mid 70s. There will still be a chance of a shower, and widely scattered showers will continue Thursday.
By Friday, partly sunny skies are expected to take control for the rest of the weekend, before a storm system develops in the Gulf of Mexico late this weekend and spreads rain back into the Charlotte region early next week.