First Alert: Rain begins to taper off for Panthers game, thunderstorms possible Friday

First Alert: Rain begins to taper off for Panthers game, thunderstorms possible Friday

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - UPDATE: Thursday 3 p.m.

Periods of rain will continue off and on through this afternoon. Right now, our model guidance does indicate that we should start to see things taper off and wind down towards this evening. However, we can't completely guarantee that that happens in time for the Panthers 7:30 kickoff tonight. Either way, by that point we should at least be towards the end of the rain for the day, so if it is raining lightly still for kickoff, things will get better, not worse, for the rest of the game.

A break in the activity moves in overnight, so most of the nighttime hours will be dry and uneventful. Round 2 is still set to move in for Friday.

The Storm Prediction Center has removed us from the Day 1 (today) marginal risk for severe weather, meaning it will not be expected this afternoon. However, the Day 2 (Friday) outlook still has a Slight Risk area over most of the WBTV Carolina counties, meaning scattered severe storms will be possible, and, as we've been saying, there is an isolated tornado threat too, mainly during the afternoon.

There are some suggestions that areas of rain or storms stick around as late as midnight Friday, so Football Friday Night games could potentially be impacted as well. Either way, the good news remains, things are looking up for the Labor Day weekend!

- Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases

UPDATE: Thursday 6:15 a.m.

First Alert Days have been issued for both Today and Friday. The remnants of Harvey will move to the northeast, taking it into Tennessee and Kentucky by week's end. However, a stream of moisture is pulling up ahead of the system and that's what will impact us in the form of rain.

Pockets of rain are likely for the morning commute today. Perhaps leave a little extra time in case of a wet commute and trip to the bus stop. The latter half of the day looks a little drier, which should be good news for Panthers fans heading to the final preseason game at the stadium tonight.  Still, there's a small shower risk for the afternoon and evening hours as well.

Friday may start with some more showers, but the best chance for severe weather is in the afternoon on Friday. Some storms may produce strong or damaging winds and we can't rule out an isolated weak tornado.

There IS good news. If we can make it through the week, the holiday weekend is looking great. It originally looked like Saturday could be wet but it now seems that the rain will be leaving faster. That would make for a drier Saturday and a nice Sunday and Labor Day Monday. Highs will be in the mid 80s all three days.

- Meteorologist Al Conklin

UPDATE: Wednesday 6:20 p.m.

We've been tracking Tropical Storm Harvey since last week. Harvey is finally starting to make progress, but not before dumping four to eight more inches of rain along the Texas and Louisiana border Wednesday night.

Next, it's our turn. While the center of the action won't move right through the Charlotte area, there will be plenty of moisture that will steam up ahead of the actual storm. That is what will get us wet over the course of the next two days.

We could see the first batch of showers moving in over the next couple of hours. It will be fairly light for the first part of Wednesday night. Late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, things should start to pick up for the Carolinas.

A First Alert Day has been issued for Thursday because it could be a messy morning commute. There should be widespread showers with pockets of heavy rain. It may be a good idea to set out the rain gear Wednesday night before heading to the bus stop in Thursday morning.

The second half of the day on Thursday may bring a bit of a break. While the rain chance is still around 60 percent, it should at least be spottier. There could even be times of dry weather.

Then comes Friday.

Again, the morning commute on Friday could be a wet one. Pockets of heavy rain may again disrupt your trip to work or school. There could be a break in the middle of the day, but things should then crank back up again during the afternoon hours. During that time frame, we could see showers and even thunderstorms.

Of the whole event, the best chance for severe weather will be on Friday afternoon. There could be some gusty thunderstorms and even an isolated tornado.

The graphics show the times of most concern – Thursday and Friday mornings and Friday afternoon.

The best news is that the Labor Day weekend is now looking better. The rain should exit faster than it looked like it would as of Tuesday, so most of Saturday should be dry. Sunday and Monday also look good, with low rain chances and highs in the mid 80s.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

Wednesday 9:30 a.m.

We've hinted at it for days and now it seems likely that the remnants of Harvey will in fact track close enough to the Carolinas to bring rain to the WBTV viewing area Thursday and Friday. It certainly won't rain all of the time, but model guidance suggests some of the rain will be heavy – especially from Thursday night into Friday night – and there's even a chance for some severe weather on Friday as the decaying circulation spins by to our north.

Harvey made a second US landfall near Cameron, LA this morning and will slowly track northeast across the lower Mississippi River Valley today.

As the storm drifts northward it's dragging a huge plume of Gulf of Mexico moisture with is. Notice the radar image assigned to this article. Rain associated with Harvey extends well to the east, all the way over into the FL panhandle. Put that plume in the flow and it comes our way late week.

Our FUTURECAST forecast products suggest there could be rain for a good bit of the WBTV viewing area – especially west of I-77 – already for the morning commute Thursday. This would make for the first wet morning rush since school started back up, so you may want to allow a little extra time to reach your destination. Secondly, the same model hints at more rain scattered around the region for the Thursday afternoon commute and Friday appears to be even wetter.

The Panthers game Thursday evening, the start of the Matthews Alive Festival Friday and area high school football games Friday evening are all likely to be impacted in some way by rain, so plan accordingly if any of these events are on your schedule.

It's with the above in mind that we've declared First Alert Days for both Thursday and Friday.

The good news is that most every model looking beyond Friday strongly hints that the bulk of the wet weather will be pulling out by early Saturday, and so the holiday weekend as a whole looks good with plenty of sunshine, low rain chances and afternoon readings in the 80s Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day.

- Meteorologist Al Conklin

Wednesday 5:45 a.m.

Tropical Storm Harvey made a second U.S. landfall this morning, just west of Cameron, Louisiana. From there, it will move northeast through the lower Mississippi River Valley today and then up into the Ohio Valley by Friday.

Chunks of rain ahead and east of Harvey will start to show up here late tonight and Thursday, with pockets of heavy rain likely Thursday night into much of Friday. Best advice I can offer is to have a backup plan if you have outdoor activities either of those two days.

Our latest data is coming into better agreement on the rain moving out quickly early Saturday which should set the stage for fair weather over the remainder of the holiday weekend with afternoon readings well into the 80s and overnight lows in the 60s.

- Meteorologist Al Conklin

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