Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Great golf tournament weather ... probably

Our lawns were watered overnight, and now the rain has moved out, clearing the way for five days of glorious weather while Charlotte serves as host of the PGA's Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club.

Well, probably five days of glorious weather.

Today should be fine, although the golfers who tee off early in the pro-am event will do so under cloudy skies and with wet grounds to contend with.

Nearly an inch of rain fell overnight, in two rounds -- the first, with a cluster of thunderstorms that moved through the area before midnight; then, more rain from a line of heavy showers that crossed the region between 3 and 6 a.m.

The rain moved east of Charlotte around daybreak, and clearing skies began moving toward the region from the west.

By mid-morning, skies will be at least partly sunny. Temperatures, however, will be nowhere near Tuesday's 80-degree-plus readings. When the cold front passed through Charlotte early Wednesday morning, temperatures fell from near 60 to around 50 degrees. Highs this afternoon will only reach the upper 60s. That is a sign of the chilly air moving into the region for the next 48 hours.

Frost and freeze advisories have been posted tonight for the mountains, and the predicted low temperature in Charlotte is 41 degrees Thursday morning. That is close to the record for the date -- 39 degrees, set in 1973.

So if you're planning to attend the first round of the golf tournament Thursday, take a jacket along.

The rest of the week should feature partly sunny to sunny skies, with a gradual warm up. Highs will be near 70 degrees Thursday, 72 on Friday, 78 on Saturday, and then 81 on Sunday.

Two things to remember ... there will be a small chance of a shower Friday and a thunderstorm Sunday. A weak low pressure system is expected to pass to the north Friday, but it could be close enough for a shower to sneak into the Charlotte area.

And by Sunday afternoon, forecasters think there might be enough moisture and instability in the atmosphere for a few thunderstorms to develop. As of now, however, those storms appear to be widely scattered. Most areas should remain dry.