Strong storms today, but weekend looks good

A weak cold front could trigger some powerful thunderstorms later Thursday across the Charlotte area, but forecasters are predicting a quieter weather pattern for the weekend.

The cold front is expected to cross the region during the late afternoon and evening. National Weather Service meteorologists say showers and thunderstorms are likely around midday in the mountains, and the storms are expected to move into the foothills and Piedmont later in the afternoon.

“The band (of storms) should slide quickly east, reaching the Charlotte area by late afternoon,” said Neil Dixon, of the Weather Service’s office in Greer, S.C.

Some of the storms could reach severe levels later in the afternoon, especially if they form into a line. The amount of sunshine in the Charlotte area will help determine the severity of the storms. If morning clouds move away, sunshine will allow the atmosphere to become more unstable, forecasters said.

“The storms may result in strong to severe wind gusts across portions of the forecast area,” Dixon said.

Behind the front on Friday, the air is expected to be less humid, although temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 80s. Highs are forecast to be near 90 degrees Saturday, but meteorologists don’t expect much thunderstorm activity either day.

On Sunday, an area of thunderstorms is expected to plow across West Virginia and Virginia. Originally, forecasters thought those storms would extend southward into the Carolinas, but the latest computer models are pointing toward a storm-free day. High temperatures will reach the lower 90s.