FIRST ALERT: Severe weather causes damage, outages in WBTV viewing area

Large-sized hail (Provided by viewers)
Large-sized hail (Provided by viewers)
Lake Wylie storm damage (fSource: Krystal Rawlinson)
Lake Wylie storm damage (fSource: Krystal Rawlinson)
(Viewer Photo)
(Viewer Photo)
Sunday 8:00 p.m.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - While it seems the worst of the severe weather has passed to our east, it doesn't mean we are in the clear yet. Many counties remain under a Flash Flood Watch until midnight. We could see several more hours with pockets of heavy rain. In fact, some towns in the foothills could get another 1-2" on top of what you've already seen.

Fortunately, the rain will begin to exit the region around midnight.

Next, we turn our attention to more chilly weather. As the cold air wraps in, we could begin to pick up a few mountain snow showers tonight and tomorrow morning. While accumulation isn't expected, don't be surprised if you see the flakes flying.

For the rest of us, it will be another cool Monday. We will start the day in the upper 40s and probably not reach 60 degrees for a high.

Sunday 4:00 p.m.

Our line of severe storms continues to race to the east, running a few hours ahead of schedule. While we had two separate tornado warnings between 3-4pm, there are currently no active tornado warnings.

Wind damage has been reported, but one of the most significant impacts that is a little more unusual for this area is the large, golf-ball sized hail we've gotten reports of. The diameter of a standard golf ball is 1.68", and we had several photos from Lake Wylie, Belmont, and Gastonia of hail at least golf ball sized, if not a little larger.

In addition, the Charlotte airport experienced a wind gust of 67mph around 3:20pm.

The criteria for a severe thunderstorm is a storm that produces either 1) hail 1" in diameter or greater, 2) wind gusts 58mph or greater 3) a tornado.

Based on the wind gusts and hail reports, we easily met this criteria which is why we had several severe thunderstorm warnings issued in addition to the two tornado warnings this afternoon.

As of this writing. the severe weather is shifting East of 77 and should be out of the viewing area by 7pm. Additional rain could come through this evening, but would be non-severe.

Sunday 2:00 p.m.

The storms are just beginning to move into the Enhanced Risk region (which includes much of the WBTV viewing area). Any storm this afternoon could be strong to severe and could contain heavy rain, gusty winds and even an isolated tornado. There is actually a 10 percent chance for tornadoes. That is pretty high for this part of the country. It doesn't mean that everyone will see one but it means we should all be on guard and have a way to get weather alerts.

There is a Tornado Watch in effect until 7 p.m. for most of the area. The storms are racing to the northeast at about 55 mph however, the line itself is moving a bit slower. The whole line is moving east at about 10 mph.

Several Tornado Warnings and Severe Thunderstorms were in effect in several counties in the WBTV viewing area in the afternoon.

Western counties are starting to be cleared behind, rapidly pushing East of 77. At the same time, far eastern counties have been added to a Tornado Watch until 11 p.m.

More than 10,000 power outages were reported in Mecklenburg County and another 4,000 outages were reported in Lancaster County, according to Duke Energy.

Sunday 7:00a.m.

After a warm and beautiful Saturday in the low 80s, we have made it to our First Alert Day. We do still expect things to be quite active around here during the afternoon hours with our first true severe weather event of the Spring season.

A large part of the WBTV viewing area, including the Foothills & Piedmont, has now been upgraded to an Enhanced Risk (orange area) of severe weather. This is one step higher over yesterday's Slight Risk and mean's our severe weather potential, including the threat for tornadoes, is looking slightly higher.

And while not everyone will experience severe weather today, models are consistently gridding out 1-2" of rain in a short window this evening as everything rolls through. Downpours could lead to flash flooding, so a Flash Flood Watch has been issued until 8pm.

As far as the timing, that part has not changed too much over yesterday. Here's what the latest data as of Sunday morning is suggesting for arrival times of potential severe weather:

  • Mountains: Between 1-3pm
  • Charlotte/77: Between 4-6pm
  • Eastern counties: Between 7-9pm
  • This means that by 9pm the latest, the severe weather threat will likely be over as everything shifts east.

Be sure to stay weather aware today and make sure you have the WBTV weather app downloaded and severe weather alerts turned on!

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.