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Severe thunderstorms batter mid-Atlantic to New England with powerful winds, torrential downpours

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
May 20, 2019, 10:00:24 AM EDT


A round of severe thunderstorms tracked across the Midwest and the Northeast on Sunday, prompting reports of damaging winds, tornadoes, flooding downpours and hail.

There were three preliminary tornado reports on Sunday. An EF0 tornado, featuring peak winds up to 80 mph, was reported in Lacey, Michigan, while another tornado was reported near West Alexandria, Ohio. A third tornado was reported in Montpelier, Louisiana, where damage was reported to a store.

A student housing unit in State College, Pennsylvania, caught on fire after being reportedly struck by lightning Sunday afternoon.

There were 23 large hail reports on Sunday. The largest report came from Clear Springs, Maryland, where hail about 2 inches in diameter was measured.

Sunday was third day in a row that severe thunderstorms rumbled across the United States, following damaging storms and tornadoes in the nation’s midsection Friday into Saturday.

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A shelf cloud as seen in Syracuse, New York, on May 19, 2019. (Twitter/sjminamide)


These storms marched through major metro areas including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Indianapolis and Syracuse, New York.

The storms caused power outages and sent trees toppling onto homes and cars in the Syracuse area, according to Syracuse.com.

The multi-day severe weather threat will continue on Monday and Tuesday in the central U.S.

AccuWeather meteorologists expected Monday to be the most violent day of the outbreak, with areas from western and central Texas through Oklahoma and into southern Kansas at risk of storms capable of producing damaging winds, large hail, flooding downpours and tornadoes.

The threat is not over for the Northeast either, particuarly in New England.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay alert to severe storm and tornado warnings in your area. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

Read below to follow real-time updates from Sunday's severe weather event.


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11:30 p.m. EDT Sunday:

A flash flood warning is in effect for Lehigh, Carbon, Monroe and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania until 2:15 a.m. EDT. Thunderstorms containing torrential downpours will continue to impact parts of northeastern Pennsylvania over the next few hours.



10:00 p.m. EDT Sunday:

The National Weather Service reported a tornado touched down near West Alexandria, Ohio, which is west of Dayton.



9 :00 p.m. EDT Sunday:

Approximately 45,000 customers are without power in the Mid-Atlantic region due to severe weather.


8:15 p.m. EDT Sunday:

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect from York County to Lancaster County until 8:45 p.m. EDT. The storm is moving east at 50 mph.



7:45 p.m. EDT Sunday:

Reports indicate lightning started a fire that caused substantial damage to the roof of a student living building in Patton Township in Pennsylvania. According to reports, nearby residents heard a large boom of thunder right before the fire alarms went off.



6:30 p.m. EDT Sunday:

A Tornado Warning is in effect for York, Weigelstown and Spry, Pennsylvania until 7 p.m. EDT.



5:45 p.m. EDT Sunday:

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and Tornado Warnings are in effect across the Midwest to the Northeast.



3:15 p.m. EDT Sunday:

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for parts of three Pennsylvania counties—Centre, Huntingdon and Mifflin—until 3:45 p.m. EDT. Strong winds, hail and downpours can be expected with this storm.


3:00 p.m. EDT Sunday:

There is a Tornado Warning in effect for Port Huron, Marysville and Emmett, Michigan, until 4 p.m. EDT. The storm is tracking toward the northeast in the direction of Lake Huron.



2:45 p.m. EDT Sunday:

Severe storms are quickly developing across the Midwest and the Northeast.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff urges people to seek shelter inside as soon as you hear thunder or see threatening skies.



2 p.m. EDT Sunday:

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for part of the northeastern U.S., including Scranton, Pennsylvania; Albany and Syracuse, New York; and Burlington, Vermont. A severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to develop, including hail, wind gusts over 60 mph and frequent lightning.

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