FIRST ALERT: Friday storms could bring lightning, gusty winds to high school football games

FIRST ALERT: Friday storms could bring lightning, gusty winds to high school football games
Lyndsay Tapases/WBTV
Lyndsay Tapases/WBTV
Lyndsay Tapases/WBTV
Lyndsay Tapases/WBTV
Friday 2:50 p.m.

(WBTV) - A line of storms are still expected to cross into the WBTV viewing area for the afternoon and evening hours Friday, developing out ahead of a weak cool front.

The storms are expected to be in the mountains between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., the Foothills between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the Charlotte metro/Piedmont areas closer to 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. Remember, you can expect downpours, lightning and gusty winds embedded within this line of storms.

Most of our area is now in a marginal risk for severe weather, which means isolated severe storms with damaging winds will be possible. We know there will be many people who will be headed out Friday evening for football games in Gastonia, Huntersville, Charlotte, Matthews, Waxhaw - just to name a few.

These games begin between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., so our best hope is that the worst of this passes before kickoff. Still, make sure you check the radar on your WBTV weather app before you post up in the bleachers, so you can decide whether you need to wait out the worst of the storms in your car until it passes.

One benefit of this front is that behind it, dew points (and humidity) will be dropping slightly for the weekend. We're currently experiencing some of the highest humidity and heat index levels we've seen all summer, but the weekend temperatures are expected to return to the low 90s and dew points will be back to the mid-upper 60s.

It's not dry by any means, but it's better than the tropical 70s that we've been dealing with.

- Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases

Friday 5:30 a.m.

With some of the highest humidity we've seen so far this summer, we're seeing some of the highest heat index readings of the summer for some areas, between 103°-105°.

The air mass today remains relatively unchanged so prepare for another day of excessive heat. For this reason, combined with a front poised to move through the Carolinas during the afternoon and evening, we have declared today a First Alert Day. Our weather models have come into better agreement that a line of storms will move west to east across the viewing area during the evening, which could be an issue for Football Friday Night games, with lightning and gusty winds possible between.

The weekend remains hot but relatively dry, and there's little change in the long-range weather data as Friday's frontal boundary is still expected to stall across the Carolinas all the way through Monday the 21st for the solar eclipse. So we should expect a mixture of clouds and sun.

- Meteorologist Al Conklin

Thursday 5:45 p.m.

A very weak cold front will push into the Carolinas late Friday. It will likely leverage the heat and humidity across our region and develop a line of thunderstorms as it crosses the Carolinas during the late afternoon or evening hours.

Heat index values will likely again be as high as 103°-105° at times, some of the highest we've had so far this year.

As far as the storms, the exact timing is still a bit uncertain, but our computer model guidance has come into better agreement this afternoon that a solid line of gusty storms will be crossing from west to east during the evening. There is a reasonable chance they will be affecting our area around the time of the high school football games, between 6-9pm.

The goal here is to raise awareness to the potential of disruptive weather and help you prepare.

Rain gear comes to mind first of course, but have a plan to take cover should lightning strikes erupt from a thunderstorm. Isolated severe storms will also be possible, with the main threat being damaging winds.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.