Storms threaten Coca-Cola 600, Memorial Day outdoor plans in Charlotte, NWS says

Storms rolling into the Carolinas from the Mississippi River Valley threaten Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race and outdoor plans in the Charlotte area on Memorial Day, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Tuesday.

It’s still early in the week, and the forecast could always change, but Sunday and Monday’s Charlotte-area weather “is not looking too good,” NWS forecaster Doug Outlaw said.

If the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord were postponed to Monday, chances of showers and thunderstorms that day are even higher , at 60%, Outlaw said.

The latest weather models showed a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms at 6 p.m. Sunday, the scheduled start of the race, Outlaw said. That same chance continues into the evening, he said.

“But the buildup of showers and thunderstorms should be at their peak at 5 p.m. ” and decrease to a 40% chance by 8 p.m., Outlaw said.

Dreary Memorial Day forecast

Charlotte faces a 35% chance of showers and thunderstorms at noon Monday, and a 60% chance in the afternoon, Outlaw said.

“So it doesn’t really diminish a whole lot from Sunday into Monday,” he said about the prospects for rain.

And some of the rain could be heavy at times, especially with approaching thunderstorms, Outlaw said.

The low-pressure weather system from the Mississippi River Valley could merge with a high-pressure system from the coast, increasing the chances of showers and thunderstorms this weekend, Outlaw said.

Showers and thunderstorms are “likely” on Monday, according to the NWS Charlotte forecast at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Charlotte forecast

Charlotte should be sunny to mostly sunny through Thursday, with predicted highs of 85 on Tuesday, 88 on Wednesday and 89 on Thursday, the NWS forecast at noon Tuesday showed.

Friday could turn mostly cloudy, with a high near 88 degrees, while storm chances are expected to increase to 40% on Saturday and Sunday, according to the forecast.

Showers and thunderstorms are “likely” on Monday, with a high of 86, the forecast showed.