Democratic National Convention officials had abandoned plans to have President Obama accept their party's presidential nomination at Bank of America Stadium due to the possibility of inclement weather, and their decision seemed vindicated as a cluster of heavy rain showers drenched convention-goers as they made their way to the Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown Charlotte Thursday afternoon.
The rain showers developed suddenly, popping up on radar over Charlotte with little warning. But there was very little lightning associated with them; dangerous lightning had been convention organizers' biggest worry.
Convention officials announced on Wednesday that they were moving the Thursday program from the 73,778-seat outdoor stadium to the indoor Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown Charlotte, which seats just over 19,000 people for Charlotte Bobcats basketball games.
Officials cited the threat of severe weather, including dangerous lightning, as sufficient cause to change plans. They also pushed back against suggestions that they moved the speech out of the larger venue because they were having trouble filling the stadium, noting that thousands were on a waiting list for tickets.
Radar trends show heavy rains lingering during the late afternoon, though conditions are expected to improve during the evening, as a drier air mass moves into the area. Indeed, the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., which is responsible for Charlotte's weather, reports that rain is unlikely during the 10 p.m. hour, when Obama is expected to speak.
Meanwhile, inside the arena, The Alley can report that the air is dry and air-conditioned.
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