Outer bands of rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Elsa are expected to arrive in the Charlotte area Thursday morning and stick around all day, a National Weather Service meteorologist said on Wednesday.
Charlotte Airport is expected to expect flight delays from Wednesday as Elsa ascends the coast from Florida, the Federal Aviation Administration warned on Twitter Wednesday morning.
Other major airports, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, are also expected to anticipate delays, the FAA said.
Charlotte could see up to 2 inches of rain before Elsa leaves the area by mid to late afternoon on Thursday, said meteorologist Chris Horne of the NWS office in Greer, NC. South, at The Charlotte Observer.
“Heavy showers” could close over Charlotte around 6 a.m., Horne said.
By then, he said, Elsa could be downgraded to a tropical depression. Charlotte would see the remnants of the old hurricane and tropical storm, he said.
Episodes of heavy rain are expected to form, dissipate and reform along the Interstate 77 corridor in eight or nine hours, according to Horne. Showers could form and reform anywhere east or west of the highway, including in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, he said.
Possible delays at CLT airport
The “heavy” rains, combined with possible windshear and delays at other airports, could cause delays at Charlotte Airport, he said. “We expect Charlotte Airport operations to be affected by the rest of Elsa,” he said.
The good news: Elsa’s Eye should be well east of the Charlotte area, so no tropical storm force winds are expected in the metro area and neighboring counties, including North Carolina. from the South, Horne said.
“It will be windy” in the Charlotte area, but nothing worse, Horne predicted.
At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Elsa was about 115 miles northwest of Tampa, Fla. racing winds of 65 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm could dump up to 6 inches of rain in Southeast Georgia and the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and up to 5 inches along parts of the North Carolina coast, said officials from the hurricane center in an 8 a.m. bulletin on Wednesday.
Charlotte has a 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms Thursday, the NWS forecast for 10 a.m. Wednesday. The storm will lower Thursday’s forecast maximum to 79 degrees, before highs rise to 90 Friday, 91 Saturday and 90 Sunday.