Another round of soaking storms possible Friday

Slow-moving thunderstorms are possible again Friday afternoon and evening across the Charlotte region, but forecasters promise improved weather for the rest of the weekend.

An outbreak of storms Thursday dumped more than 3 inches of rain in parts of the area, and the storms also were responsible for damaging wind gusts in parts of Mecklenburg, Union and Burke counties.

The thunderstorms are being caused by a weak cold front that is stretched east to west near the state line Friday. National Weather Service meteorologists said the front has lost most of its identity but remains strong enough to help trigger storms.

The Weather Service’s Pat Moore said he expects showers and storms to develop around midday in the mountains and then drift eastward across the Foothills and Piedmont. The storms are most likely near and south of the state line. Areas along the Interstate 40 corridor might not see much storm activity Friday.

By Saturday, what is left of the front is forecast to push south of the area. Forecasters said a shower is possible in the morning, but then drying is expected. A slightly cooler air mass will dominate the area, producing high temperatures in the low 80s both Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday’s storms formed in the mountains and rumbled into the Piedmont. Wind damage was reported in several locations across Burke County.

Then a series of storms hit Mecklenburg and surrounding counties between 6 p.m. and midnight. Flash flood warnings were posted for several hours, but no serious flooding was reported.

Authorities were forced to close two lanes of southbound Interstate 77 near the Carowinds Boulevard exit for a time Thursday night because of road flooding. Fans attending the Luke Bryan concert at PNC Music Pavilion in north Charlotte were told to go to their cars when a storm approached, and the concert was delayed nearly an hour.

Wind gusts knocked down several trees and large limbs at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue facility near Indian Trail in Union County. Officials at the facility said they were able to move the birds out of harm’s way before the storm arrived, but the trees damaged fences and barns.

Downed trees also were reported at several spots in Matthews.

Arriving and departing flights were delayed for about two hours at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and Duke Energy reported more than 3,000 power outages at the height of the storm.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport recorded 1.18 inches of rain, a record for the date, but more than 3 inches fell at a couple locations in Matthews and Mint Hill. The area near Tega Cay also got more than 3 inches of rain.