Severe Thunderstorm Threat Shifts into Mid-Atlantic

December 01, 2010; 10:20 AM
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Severe storms threaten to cause damage, endanger lives and disrupt travel across portions of the mid-Atlantic from eastern North Carolina to the Delmarva Peninsula.

Cities that lie in the path of the storms today include: Raleigh and Cape Hatteras, N.C.; Norfolk, Va.; Salisbury, Md.

Numerous watches and warnings are in effect across the mid-Atlantic.

The feisty thunderstorms are igniting along a powerful cold front pushing across the region. Mild and moist air in place ahead of the front is providing plenty of fuel for the storms to turn severe.

The biggest threats of the storms are isolated tornadoes, potentially damaging wind gusts over 60 mph and flash flooding.

While the threat for tornadoes is not very high or widespread, any tornadoes that do touch down may be shrouded by rain.

If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately.

The strongest gusts can topple power lines and trees. Any houses, businesses, vehicles or people in the path of falling trees will be at risk, while sporadic power outages may occur. Trees may also block some roadways, slowing or stopping traffic.

Motorists are urged to go slow in torrential downpours and watch for flash flooding. The blinding downpours will drop heavy rain (easily up to an inch) over a short amount of time, leading the the threat of flash flooding.

Travel may be slow along portions of I-40, I-64 and I-95.

The main threat for the storms will be during the first part of today, before the cold front, triggering the storms, shifts offshore during the afternoon.

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