CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Friday marks the 24th straight day without rain for Charlotte and most of the WBTV viewing area outside of the mountains. The lack of rain, coupled with above-average warm, sunny weather has led to much of the region east of Interstate 77 to be classified as "abnormally dry" in the latest version of the Drought Monitor.
So, on paper, a forecast of one to two inches of rain (Piedmont and foothills, three to four+ inches in the mountains) over the next few days sounds awesome!
Problem is those "next few days" include Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day, which is a holiday weekend loaded with outdoor events, festivals and a NASCAR playoff race. As they say, timing is everything, and in this case, the weekend looks increasingly unsettled, and, especially Sunday and Monday, increasingly wet as a tropical system named Nate crosses the Southeast.
More specifically, Saturday may start with a good deal of low clouds and even a few spotty showers, especially up over the mountains. As the morning wears on, the clouds should break for some sunshine and only a 30 percent chance of rain during the rest of the daylight hours. Afternoon readings will run warm again, close to 80 degrees around Charlotte.
Sunday looks to be a different story. As Tropical Storm Nate makes a Gulf Coast landfall predawn, likely as a hurricane, it will trek north-northeast, bringing rain with it. The risk of rain Sunday is all day long, right from the get-go, but perhaps the greatest threat comes during the second part of the day as Nate's remnants plow up into Alabama. During the overnight hours, the low will push up through the east Tennessee mountains, making its closest approach to the WBTV viewing area. With that in mind, the best chance for rain, which could be heavy at times, will come Sunday night and early Monday morning before the storm quickly pulls away toward the Mid-Atlantic region later Monday.
Rain chances taper down on Tuesday, with just a small risk for lingering showers then.
- Meteorologist Al Conklin