Carolinas weather: Heavy hurricane rains expected


Charlotte seemed to be on target of Nicholaswhich turned from a tropical storm into a hurricane on Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service said.

As Nicole planned to turn north and enter the Carolinas on Friday, the latest weather models showed the storm’s center barely tracking east of Queen City, meteorologist Rodney Hinson of the Bureau of NWS in Greer, South Carolina.

Shortly after 6 p.m., American Airlines announced that flight change fees will be waived for travelers to 20 airports in Florida, Georgia, Bahamas and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Passengers can reschedule their journey on or by calling 800-433-7300.

To help customers on their way to Nicole who choose to evacuate by air, American has added last-minute discounted fares to cities expected to be impacted by the storm.

Flight Changes, Hurricane Nicole

At least 55 flights were canceled by 4 p.m. Wednesday between Charlotte Douglas International Airport and airports primarily in Florida, according to, which tracks flights at airports nationwide.

The figures included at least 21 outbound CLT flights and 30 inbound flights, most of them on American Airlines and its subsidiary PSA Airlines, the tracking site said. Charlotte is an American Airlines hub.

South West Airlines also waived change fees to and from the destinations Nicole touched.

Where is Nicole?

Nicole was expected to remain a hurricane until it reached the east coast of florida Wednesday evening or early Thursday somewhere along a hurricane warning zone that stretches from Boca Raton to the Flagler-Volusia county line, according to a 7 p.m. National Hurricane Center advisory.

“Nicole is expected to weaken as it moves through Florida and the southeastern United States Thursday through Friday, and is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday afternoon,” National officials said. Hurricane Center in the notice.

Nicole’s center is expected to travel through central and northern Florida to southern Georgia on Thursday and Thursday evening, and through the Carolinas on Friday, center officials said.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nicole packed winds of 75 mph about 100 miles east of West Palm Beach, Fla., according to the advisory.

Nicole should deliver gusty winds and 2 to 3 inches of rain in the Charlotte area late Thursday and Friday, the National Weather Service reported.

The rain dump planned by Nicole

Two days of persistent rain pose the biggest threat to the immediate Charlotte and Rock Hill area, Hinson said.

Nicole could dump 2 to 4 inches of rain Thursday and Friday on cities and surrounding areas, showed maps from the National Hurricane Center.

Hinson said the latest models indicated 2 to 3 inches of rain for the Charlotte area.

Although Charlotte has handled similar amounts in the past without any damage, Hinson said, a one-shot downpour could cause “high” levels in rivers and streams, leading to flooding, he said.

And a small tornado threat exists Friday morning and afternoon, Hinson said.

Nicole’s rains are expected to arrive in Charlotte Thursday afternoon, “and they will continue through Friday, before easing Friday evening,” Hinson said.

Impacts in South Carolina

Tropical storm and storm surge watches remained in effect for coastal South Carolina south of the South Santee River, South Carolina National Climate Office reported Wednesday.

The latest forecast for Nicole put the entire state at increased risk from isolated tornadoes, Frank Strait, severe weather liaison officer at the SC State Climate Office, said Wednesday.

“Coastal flooding and flooding from storm surges remain top concerns for coastal areas,” Strait said. “Every high tide through Friday morning will result in coastal flooding due to strong winds and astronomical high tides.”

Forecast Charlotte

After another sunny day, the sky was expected become cloudy Wednesday evening, according to the NWS Charlotte forecast at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Charlotte has a 40 percent chance of showers after 2 p.m. Thursday and a 100 percent chance, with thunderstorms possible, after 1 a.m. Friday and all day Friday, according to the forecast.

Gusts of up to 34 mph are possible on Friday, NOW forecasters said.

A high of 65 is expected Thursday, 72 Friday, 68 Saturday, 53 Sunday, 50 Monday, 46 Tuesday and 54 Wednesday, NWS meteorologists said.

This story was originally published November 8, 2022 4:22 p.m.

Charlotte Observer Related Stories

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989, covering locals, towns and major news events in the area, and served as editor of the newspaper’s press office. He is currently reporting on the latest news.


Comments are closed.