A batch of strong thunderstorms split apart early Thursday morning and missed North Carolina, sparing the Charlotte area from the risk of damaging wind gusts and large hail.
However, that means the atmosphere across the region remains unstable, and forecasters said another round of strong storms is possible Thursday afternoon and early evening.
A tornado watch had been issued overnight for all counties northwest of Mecklenburg, as meteorologists watched an area of strong storms develop in western Kentucky. Computer models had indicated that the storms would move southeast, crossing North Carolina overnight.
But the storms split into two areas. One cluster crossed Virginia, and the other moved south across Tennessee and north Georgia.
What that means, said meteorologist Danny Gant of the National Weather Service’s office in Greer, S.C., is that the western Carolinas remained in a condition with an unstable atmosphere. If storms had crossed the area, that would have stabilized conditions, he said.
Instead, there will be a chance for strong storms Thursday afternoon, with damaging wind gusts and large hail as the primary threats.
Thursday morning is starting with extremely stuffy conditions in the Charlotte region. Termperatures dropped only into the low and mid 70s, and afternoon highs in the upper 80s are expected.
A weak cold front will cross the region late Thursday, forecasters said, and that should lower temperatures and humidity levels a little for Friday.