Two inches of chilly rain could fall across the Charlotte area on Wednesday, in a rude reversal of Tuesday’s sunny skies and unseasonably balmy temperatures.
Charlotte can expect the heaviest bands of rain from 8 to 10 a.m., with steadier, less intense rainfall in the afternoon and through the evening commute, said Lauren Carroll, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C. Some areas could hear thunder in the afternoon, she said.
The high at Charlotte Douglas International Airport stood at a comfortable 63 degrees on Tuesday night, but that was expected to change overnight as heavy rain gradually moves in from the west.
Wednesday’s high is forecast to reach only 55 degrees, with the chance of rain at 90 percent, according to the National Weather Service. Thursday should be partly sunny, with the expected high dipping to 50.
The good news is Wednesday’s rain will be spread out over 12 to 18 hours, diminishing the chance of flooding, Carroll said.
Still, she said, “you could see some ponding on roads, storm drains backing up.”
Citing research by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Carroll said three-fourths of weather-related crashes occur on wet pavement.
Her advice: “Leave extra time. That’s all it takes.”
Rain had blanketed much of the Southeast by 9 p.m. Tuesday, and Tennessee “was pretty well covered,” Carroll said. Rain also was moving into north Georgia and Upstate South Carolina.
Highs are expected to rebound to 58 on Friday, 67 on Saturday and 60 on Sunday, before falling to 52 on Christmas Day, according to the latest NWS forecast.
Rain is expected to return this weekend, with a 60 percent chance on Saturday and Sunday. The chance should drop to a slim 30 percent on Christmas Day.