Weather now: Charlotte area under tornado, flash flood watches with downpours coming | Charlotte Observer

The Charlotte area is under a tornado watch and a flash flood watch Sunday, and heavy rain is expected as a cold front sweeps the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Severe thunderstorms and torrential downpours are expected in Mecklenburg County and many of its neighboring counties, especially in Western North Carolina. Several counties are also under severe thunderstorm warnings. Check the National Weather Service’s local Twitter account for the latest updates.

A watch is the less serious form of weather alert and signals that you should be prepared for a possible tornado or flash flood, according to the National Weather Service. A warning means you should take immediate action, because the dangerous weather event has actually been spotted. Warnings usually cover smaller areas than watches.

WCNC meteorologist Brad Panovich used cupcakes to illustrate the difference between a watch and a warning on Twitter.

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There should be no confusion of a Watch vs a Warning with this example. A Watch the ingredients are there for something, A Warning it’s there. #cltwx #ncwx #scwx #WeatherAware pic.twitter.com/nk5kiM2Sfo

— Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) April 15, 2018

Governor Roy Cooper warned people to stay safe and shared a weather map, showing Charlotte inside a belt where numerous severe storms will be possible Sunday.

NC at greater risk for severe weather today. Make sure you stay tuned to local warnings and have a plan in place to help your family stay safe if severe weather hits. https://t.co/UL24ohnXtI pic.twitter.com/B8kYfXZtJF

— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) April 15, 2018

As of 2 p.m. Sunday, the area’s tornado watch will end at 7 p.m. and flash flood watch will end at 8 p.m.

This story will be updated.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester

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