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Charlotte Observer: Carolinas Severe Weather Threat Grows

A tornado watch is posted for the southern portion of the Charlotte region, and forecasters say a widespread outbreak of severe weather is possible around midday. An even great chance of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes is predicted later today in central and eastern North Carolina, in largely the same area hit by killer tornadoes April 16. The storms are fueled by unseasonably mild temperatures and dew point readings, and by a strong cold front advancing toward the Charlotte area. National Weather Service meteorologists say the worst of the weather in Charlotte is expected from about 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., has issued a tornado watch until 4 p.m. for a large part of South Carolina, including Chester, Lancaster and Chesterfield counties in the Charlotte area. Forecasters say another watch could be needed for the area north of there -- including Mecklenburg County. At 9:30 a.m., a cluster of strong thunderstorms was moving east-northeast across central South Carolina. Those storms could affect southern Chester and southern Lancaster counties before 10:30 a.m.