Drenching Storms Threaten East Coast Travel Delays

January 27, 2012; 7:00 AM ET
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As a cold front sweeps toward the East Coast, drenching and gusty thunderstorms will slow travel from New England to Florida into the afternoon.

Included in the mess is the busy Northeast corridor, where the combination of low clouds and heavy rain will result in flight delays.

The heaviest rain will fall during the midday hours from eastern North Carolina to New England. During the afternoon the rain will sweep out of much of the coastal mid-Atlantic, but will linger over southeastern new England.

Rainfall amounts of at least a half an inch are expected, with the heaviest rain falling within a few hours' time as a cold front approaches and passes.

At the very least, motorists will encounter large puddles of water on roadways and reduced visibility in the wake of spray from larger vehicles and tractor trailers.

Accompanying the downpours at times from the New York metropolitan area on south will be a few thunderstorms, which could even turn gusty as the front passes.

Warmer, more humid air from the Delmarva to Florida could even help to turn the storms severe as they march toward the coast.

Strong wind gusts in excess of 50 mph are a possibility with a few of the storms, which will generally threaten areas only through the midday hours.

With a powerful, twisting blast of air arriving in the upper levels of the atmosphere, it's not out of the question an isolated, brief tornado be spawned from the strongest storms.

In the wake of the front this afternoon and evening, unusually mild air will be replaced by falling temperatures; this will effectively end the threat for any additional showers or storms.

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