Watch hail pummel Charlotte
Charlotte and its surrounding counties can expect “isolated strong to severe thunderstorms” and increasingly gusty winds Friday afternoon, including the possibility of inch-sized hail, the National Weather Service says.
The storms are expected to be more intense east of Interstate 77 toward the coast, where forecasters are leaving open the possibility of “damaging straightline winds” and even “weak” tornadoes.
In the Charlotte region, forecasters are predicting brief, but heavy downpours along the Interstate 77 corridor and eastern Upstate South Carolina. “Damaging winds and hail up to 1-inch diameter are the main threats,” the National Weather Service says.
The worst of the weather is likely between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., and the gusty northwest winds will be felt even outside the passing thunderstorms, forecasters say.
Winds of 15 to 25 mph are expected across the Piedmont late Friday morning into the afternoon, forecasters say. Gusts could reach 30 to 40 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
In the higher elevations of the North Carolina mountains, the gusts could reach in excess of 50 mph, forecasters say.
“Any loose or unsecured objects may blow around, and the strong winds may lead to some difficulty in driving, especially for high profile vehicles,” NWS forecasters say.
The Charlotte region has a 60 percent chance of rain Friday and a 50 percent overnight, says the forecast.