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Idalia forecast to bring rain, winds to Charlotte as region brushes with a tropical storm

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida early Wednesday morning and it is expected to bring moderate winds and heavy rain to the Charlotte region starting Wednesday afternoon, likely as a tropical storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for much of the Charlotte region and beyond, including the Piedmont, western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has canceled all after school activities Wednesday due to the impact of Hurricane Idalia. That includes clubs, sports and extracurricular activities. CMS after school enrichment programs will operate as normal through 6 pm. Community uses for school buildings will also be suspended Wednesday.

Idalia was a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall on Florida's Gulf Coast on Wednesday morning.

By 11 a.m. Idalia had crossed into Georgia on a path toward the Carolinas. When Idalia reaches the Charlotte region and eastern North Carolina, it is forecast to be a tropical storm.

In the Charlotte region, the NWS is expecting heavy rainfall, and winds that could reach as high as 31 mph between Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. The NWS has also issued a flood watch that will be in effect from until Thursday at 8 pm.

Current forecasts show the storm could bring between 1-3 inches of rain to the area, which could cause flash flooding in some places. Much of the region is already saturated from heavy rains earlier this week.

For sports fans heading out, the Charlotte FC midweek matchup against Orlando City SC is still on as scheduled. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, but you may want to bring the ponchos out as rain and moderate winds are expected.

If you have plans to travel through Charlotte Douglas International Airport, you might want to check with your airline.

According to the flight tracking website FlightAware, 84 flights were canceled by midday Wednesday.

For more information on severe weather, head over to www.weather.gov for the latest updates in your area.

Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.