Rain winds down; rest of week looks much better

A week that started with near-record rainfall, a threat of severe weather and a morning commute loaded with collisions will soon turn much better, forecasters say.

The Charlotte area is in store for a drying trend and its nicest weekend in more than a month, according to meteorologists.

The strong low pressure system responsible for several hours of heavy rain Monday morning and afternoon across the region will be gone by Tuesday, replaced by partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 60s.

After a slight chance of showers early Wednesday morning, Charlotte can expect afternoon temperatures at or above 70 degrees for the rest of the week.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport recorded 1.68 inches of rain through mid-evening Monday. That was just short of the record for the date, 1.73 inches, set in 1973. But several gauges in the Charlotte area recorded more than 2 inches.

Dozens of wrecks were reported Monday morning, and a band of heavy showers hitting at about 9 a.m. produced scattered brief street flooding.

But a pocket of cool air over the Piedmont failed to give way to warmer conditions as expected, and that prevented severe weather from affecting the area, forecasters said. It was the far eastern parts of North Carolina that took the brunt of the heavy storms, with seven tornado reports Monday from coastal counties. No injuries were reported.

The outlook for the weekend is for partly sunny skies and highs in the upper 70s. The last completely dry weekend in Charlotte came March 7-8.

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