CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - After Monday night's record rain, we're in a bit of lull for the rest of the daylight hours Tuesday. Clouds will dominate and on chilly northeast breezes, most communities will hang in the unseasonable 40s this afternoon, with low 50s perhaps making a late appearance from Charlotte on south.
Rain will return to the area tonight, as the second wave of storminess heads our way.
Low pressure now along the Gulf coast will head north into Tennessee Wednesday and so our weather is likely to turn windy and much warmer over the midweek period.
That storm is producing heavy rain now along the Gulf region, but the greatest concern for the rest of the day is for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes from east Louisiana through southern Mississippi and east into central Alabama. Many schools in that region have dismissed early due to the pending tornado threat Tuesday afternoon and evening.
Locally, as for tonight, rain is expected to become fairly widespread – but perhaps not all that heavy - overnight, with daybreak temperatures rising into the 50s in most neighborhoods.
As Wednesday's low tracks north through Tennessee – well to our west – we're likely to experience strong southerly winds gusting up to 35 mph, heavy downpours and at least a slight chance for severe thunderstorms in some sections. Many communities will soar into the unseasonably warm 60s and 70s.
What's left of Tuesday evening's severe storms along the Gulf coast will likely headed northeast along the I-85 corridor overnight, and if they can manage to hold together, make a run for the WBTV viewing area Wednesday morning.
Thereafter, it gets interesting.
If – big if – the sun can manage to break through the clouds midday Wednesday (after the initial batch of rain fades to our east) the atmosphere would likely destabilize adequately for severe storms to develop to our west in advance of a potent front forecast to move through Wednesday evening.
There are still many questions relating to the forecast and the details need to yet be ironed out, but at the very least, we're monitoring the models for the idea that a few supercell thunderstorms that could form and plow through the foothills and Piedmont – including the Charlotte metro area – Wednesday afternoon and evening.
At this point, there is a threat for hail and damaging winds, and even a small chance for an isolated tornado or two, though the greatest severe weather risk Wednesday appears to be in the coastal plain from Raleigh on eastward.
Perhaps of greatest concern, after 2 to 3 inches of rain Monday into early Tuesday, another 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible from tonight through Wednesday evening, so flash flooding is a real concern.
A FLASH FOOD WATCH is in effect for the WBTV viewing area from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Stay tuned to WBTV and our weather page for the very latest forecasts, watches, warning and severe weather alerts!
- Meteorologist Al Conklin