National Weather Service

NOAA

Updated 2:58 p.m. 9/11/2017

Charlotte will be spared from the brunt of Hurricane Irma, but the area will still likely get rain and wind as the storm moves farther west over Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Over the next two days, it will be windy and rainy. The National Weather Service is forecasting 2-4 inches of rain starting Monday afternoon through Tuesday. And it predicts sustained winds around 25-35 mph.

Legislation that could eventually lead to changes in National Weather Service radar coverage in the Charlotte area has been approved in Congress.  The House Tuesday approved an amendment that requires the federal government to study gaps in its network of NEXRAD Doppler radars. 

A National Weather Service NEXRAD Doppler radar site.
NOAA/National Weather Service

Across the U.S., the National Weather Service operates 122 Doppler radars. These Next Generation or 'NEXRAD' systems, installed in the 1990s, give forecasters powerful tools to track weather conditions including tornadoes and other severe storms.

NEXRAD radars are located in Raleigh, Columbia, and in Greer, South Carolina, west of Spartanburg - but not in or near Charlotte. Some say, that leaves a dangerous gap in radar coverage for the Charlotte region. Legislation now moving through Congress  could lead to a change down the road.  

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado did strike southwest Charlotte this week. The service says the tornado hit Wednesday evening with maximum winds of 90 miles per hour, causing damage along a 1.5 mile stretch of John Price Road, and along a 0.5 mile stretch from Microsoft Way to West Arrowood.

The National Weather Service is investigating whether a tornado touched down in south Charlotte Wednesday evening around 6:30 p.m.  A tweet published around that time said a "possible" tornado may have been developing near I-485 southwest of Charlotte, and could cross I-77 through 7 p.m.

As Hurricane Matthew approaches the Carolinas, Charleston has reportedly run out of sandbags after distributing more the 15,000 across the city -- more than have ever been distributed for any other storm.

As of Thursday afternoon, Hurricane Matthew is considered a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph.

Crowd-Sourced Weather Program Provides 'Hyper-Local' Data

Mar 30, 2015
Henry Reges/ CoCoRaHS

There’s a network in the U.S. of thousands of volunteers who put a rain gauge in their yards and report the readings online every day---rain or shine.

This group’s mission is to provide hyper-local weather data to meteorologists, farmers, emergency managers and other government agencies. It’s called CoCoRaHS (pronounced ko-ko-RAZ). The name may sound more appropriate for a chocolatey breakfast cereal, but it stands for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network. 

WFAE's Duncan McFadyen spoke to the state director of CoCoRaHS, David Glenn. He's a meteriologist for the National Weather Service in Newport, in the eastern part of North Carolina.