Gusty Storms to Threaten Albany, Scranton, Philadelphia

By Brian Edwards, Meteorologist
September 22, 2012; 11:08 AM
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A strong cold front pushing through New York and Pennsylvania will ignite locally gusty storms into this evening from the Adirondacks to the Mason-Dixon Line.

Morning low clouds have broken over the high spots of southeastern New York and northeastern Pennsylvania and sunshine has returned which will help to destabilize the atmosphere ahead of the approaching front.

All signs point to a narrow band of thunderstorms moving through eastern Pennsylvania, eastern New York and eventually parts of New Jersey and west-central New England this afternoon.

The strongest of the storms will be capable of producing a brief period of damaging wind gusts over 55 mph. Along with the gusty winds, torrential downpours can cause local flash flooding, especially across low-lying and poor drainage areas.

The best chance for these strong storms looks to be through 9 or 10 P.M. before the storms weaken as they move into central New England.

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, 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.

Sosnowski also stated that "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."

These straight line wind gusts in excess of 55 mph can easily knock down tree limbs and small trees as well as power lines.

With many people out and about for college football games and other activities into this evening, be sure to keep an eye to the sky and have a plan of action in place if threatening weather approaches.

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.

Farther east into the bigger cities of the Northeast, Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams stated that "The main energy for the storms will lift northeastward, and 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 parts of New Hampshire, northwestern Maine and the eastern townships of Quebec.

Keep checking in at AccuWeather.com for updates throughout the day.

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