Friday, September 28, 2012

Will it rain on your weekend game, event?

After two weeks of dry weather, now the rain is coming -- in time for the weekend.

Any rainfall this weekend will threaten high school and college football, along with events like Mint Hill Madness, the Cleveland County Fair, a number of school festivals -- along with the youth sports events and golf outings scheduled.

That's bad news for people planning to spend time outdoors, pitting them against homeowners who have seeded their lawns -- or who are waiting for a little rain before aerating, fertilizing and seeding.

The good news is rainfall will be scattered and periodic. There's a good chance that most areas will get wet sometime this weekend, most likely Friday night or Saturday.  But most of the time will be rain-free.

And if you think it's been a bit too hot for the end of September, you'll like the change in temperatures. Afternoon highs will cool to the upper 70s Saturday and lower 70s Sunday.

A cold front is advancing on the Carolinas, and low pressure will join with the front to bring increased shower and thunderstorm chances to the region. The front is forecast to cross the Charlotte region Saturday, keeping rain chances around.

Originally, forecasters expected rain again Sunday, but the latest computer models indicate the cold front will push far enough south of the area to dry things out.

Be advised, by the way ... a strong low pressure system will form in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and move up across the Southeast on Monday and Tuesday. That means steady rain will begin Monday afternoon or evening and continue into Tuesday.  Right now, it looks like 1 to 2 inches of rain will fall in the Charlotte region from that system.

We'll talk more about that later in the weekend.

For now, here's your recreational weather outlook:

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: There will be showers and thunderstorms moving into the foothills Friday afternoon from the mountains, and a few of those showers and storms will spread into the Piedmont in the evening. The National Weather Service thinks the highest chances of rainfall will be along and north of Interstate 40.

If you're headed to a game tonight, be prepared for a chance of rain. And find shelter quickly if you see lightning or hear thunder.  Those of you with weather apps on your smart phones can watch radar to keep track of any storms.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: There will be showers throughout the day Saturday, but chances will be highest in the afternoon and evening.  All of the Carolinas will be at risk of rain, but the precipitation will be showery. That means you might get lucky and stay dry.  But take rain gear to the game.  Temperatures will be in the upper 70s in the Charlotte region -- although a bit cooler in the northern part of North Carolina.

SATURDAY MORNING EVENTS: There'll be more clouds than sun, but showers will be widely scattered. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 60s for much of the morning. You'll have a better chance of staying dry in the morning than in the afternoon, according to the most recent computer models.

SUNDAY EVENTS: If you're planning to be outdoors Sunday, rather than indoors watching the Panthers' game in Atlanta, it's looking increasingly like the day will remain mostly dry. It could be cloudy all day, although some sunshine is possible if the front moves far enough south of the Charlotte area. High temperatures probably won't climb much above the lower 70s.