Severe weather is likely Wednesday & Wednesday night across the Carolinas as a potent upper level disturbance coupled with a powerful cold front drives a line of thunderstorms across the southeast United States.
The image below is the water vapor loop as of 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening. You can see an area of low pressure organizing over Texas. This will bring the severe weather and heavy rain to the Carolinas Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning..
Models indicate showers and thunderstorms will erupt across western and central North Carolina after 3:00 p.m. ahead of the cold front. Models indicate the cold front will pass across the Carolinas, starting in the mountains around 10:00 p.m. and moving off the coast by 10:00 a.m. Thursday morning.
Models are placing the best lift and energy along and south of I-85 through Wednesday afternoon, so I expect the best thunderstorm coverage will be along I-85.
The severe weather threat will be elevated with the CAPE (thunderstorm energy) reaching 1000 J/kg, which is moderate energy. Wind shear will be extremely high with the potent lower level jet. With this amount of instability, the Storm Prediction Center has placed much of western and central NC under an enhanced risk (orange) or a slight risk (yellow) of severe weather.
The greatest threats will be damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. Much of western and central NC needs to be alert tomorrow for rapidly changing weather conditions.
The other threat will be extremely heavy rain. Flooding will also become an issue where thunderstorms train over the same area. As you can see below, the NAM and GFS computer model are printing out very heavy rain totals for this event.
I expect widespread rain totals of 1-2 inches, with isolated areas receiving 3-4 inches of rain.
I am continuing to monitor the situation and will keep you updated throughout the day tomorrow on my Facebook page.