Damaging Storm Potential Saturday Scranton to Montreal

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
September 22, 2012; 5:28 AM ET
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Damaging wind incidents can occur with a few of the thunderstorms forecast Saturday from the northern and western Philadelphia and New York City suburbs to part of the St. Lawrence Valley.

Metro areas that could be affected by the gusty, drenching thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening include Reading, Allentown and Scranton, Pa.; Albany, Binghamton and Syracuse, N.Y.; Burlington and Rutland, Vt. and Ottawa and Montreal, Canada.

A strong cool front will push out of the Midwest and into the northern and central Appalachians during Saturday. Warmth will build ahead of the front, making the atmosphere unstable. As thunderstorms poke up into a zone of strong winds, downdrafts can bring gusts between 50 and 60 mph in a few locations.

According to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "The severe weather event Saturday will not be nearly as widespread as this past Tuesday, but it has the potential to bring downed trees and power lines in some neighborhoods that did not experience problems recently."

In addition to the potential for localized damaging wind gusts Saturday, the downpours produced can be heavy enough to slow travel and cause flash flooding. There is always the risk of a nearby lightning strike from a thunderstorm.

The setup appears to taking shape as a straight-line wind event and not one that favors tornadoes. However, occasionally, a brief tornado can be produced in a severe thunderstorm.

Straight-line winds can tear off shingles, push a tree into your home and cause other property damage.

Since it is a weekend, there are many sporting events taking place, such as football, baseball, golf, soccer, field hockey and cross country.

Spectators will want to have a rain poncho at their disposal, despite the breezy, warm, humid feel to the day.

FYI: Take shelter indoors, in your vehicle or under a stadium superstructure as storms approach, due to the risk of a lightning strike.

Avoid parking your vehicle, or standing under a canopy of trees due to the risk of large limbs coming down during strong wind gusts.

Tents, trees and golf carts do not provide protection from a lightning strike.

"The main energy for the storms will lift northeastward," Abrams said, "For that reason we do not expect widespread severe weather reaching from Washington, D.C. and Richmond to Boston."

However, spotty, less intense storms can reach these locations with localized downpours and brief wind gusts. The storms may also remain strong after dark as they cross northern New Hampshire, northwestern Maine and the eastern townships of Quebec.

Keep checking in at AccuWeather.com for updates.

Much cooler air will roll eastward during the weekend. The cool air will make its presence known in the central Appalachians Saturday evening and then areas farther east by Sunday.

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