Outer bands of Hurricane Dorian brought scattered showers and high gusts to parts of the Charlotte area on Thursday, but the region avoided the flooding and outages experienced along the Carolinas’ coast.
Gusts as high as 34 mph were recorded at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Thursday afternoon from the category 2 hurricane, NWS meteorologist Doug Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer.
But the airport and the rest of metro Charlotte stood only a 30% chance of precipitation into early Friday from Dorian, according to the latest forecast just before 5 p.m. from the NWS office in Greer, S.C.
More intense gusts hit Union County southeast of Mecklenburg County, with a 43-mph gust reported in Monroe early Thursday afternoon, according to the weather service.
NWS meteorologists also forecast up to an inch of rain for Union County and counties across the South Carolina border - negligible compared to the 9 inches that fell Thursday in New Hanover County in eastern North Carolina.
Dorian also spawned tornadoes, storm surge and flash flooding in eastern N.C., as Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents there to “shelter in place” Thursday night.
“We are feeling the storm’s force, but it has only started,” Cooper said in a statement at 4:45 p.m. “We have a long night ahead of us.“
Much of the Charlotte metro area experienced only a cloudy day, with a high of about 84 degrees.
The clouds should turn to all sun Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with expected highs of 90 Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 92 Monday, according to the weather service. Gusts were forecast to diminish to as high as 20 mph Friday, forecasters said.
If anything, Dorian caused flight cancellations and delays at Charlotte’s airport.
By 5:15 p.m. Thursday, 121 flights had been canceled and 87 delayed. Many of the cancellations and delays involved flights to and from airports along coastal South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, according to FlightAware.com.