Severe weather, flooding downpours erupt over eastern US
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 21, 2019, 10:25:15 AM EDT
This week's stormy weather pattern in the northeastern United States is coming to an end, but not before severe weather and flash flooding threaten more communities along the Interstate 95 corridor into Thursday night.
The same system that unleashed damaging winds and large hail across the Central states at midweek is triggering heavy rain and violent thunderstorms across the East Coast.
"Into Thursday night, the entire corridor from Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and perhaps part of the New York City metro area may be at risk for dangerous and damaging storms," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
A few severe thunderstorms may also erupt across southeastern New York and into southwestern New England.
AccuWeather meteorologists expect the highest concentration of severe storms to focus along a corridor from Maryland to South Carolina.
"A number of communities may be hit with winds that can knock down trees or break tree limbs, trigger power outages and cause minor property damage," Sosnowski said.
Because the ground is so saturated from the rounds of storms this week, wind gusts do not need to reach severe thunderstorm criteria (58 mph or greater) to down trees and power lines.
Hail and isolated tornadoes can also occur, in addition to the dangerous lightning strikes that accompany any thunderstorm, whether it's severe or not.
Make sure to head indoors as soon as thunder is heard or the sky appears threatening. Just last week, two teenagers were killed by a lightning strike while fishing in western Pennsylvania.
The risk of new and worsening flooding problems will be high given how much rain has fallen over the area this week.
On Wednesday night, over 4 inches of rain fell in Philadelphia in around three hours, creating major flooding problems in the city and its suburbs. There was a report of more than one dozen cars trapped in floodwaters on Interstate 295 in New Jersey.
(Photo/Oswego Fire Department)
(Photo/Springfield Township Police)
Flash flooding, road closures and water rescues were also reported across Ohio due to slow-moving downpours.
While the downpours into Thursday night will be moving along at a faster pace than on Wednesday night, it will not take much additional rainfall to trigger more flooding woes.
Motorists on stretches of interstates 40, 70, 80, 81 and 95 should expect drastic reductions in visibility as the storms cross these highways.
Secondary roadways may again be closed due to high water, forcing drivers to turn around and find a safer, alternate route.
"With the great concentration of major airports in this zone, airline passengers in the region may experience a significant uptick in flight delays and cancellations during the afternoon and evening hours," Sosnowski said.
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While the risk for isolated severe thunderstorms will be more localized than to the south, drenching rain and flooding will remain the main concerns across northern New England.
A state of emergency was declared in Oswego, New York, at midday Thursday due to significant flooding. Many roads have been closed, while flood waters entered some homes and basements. The nearby town of Fulton recorded 1.68 inches of rain in just one hour.
Download the free AccuWeather app to be notified of severe weather and flood alerts as soon as they are issued for your area.
"In the wake of the storm, a break from rain may last two to three days with the longest stretch of dry weather likely in New England and northern New York state," Sosnowski said.
Dry, less humid air will sweep into much of the Northeast and gradually push away lingering showers on Friday, the first day of summer.
New England will turn drier by Saturday as comfortable conditions continue for the rest of the Northeast.
An uptick in humidity later Sunday across the mid-Atlantic will begin to signal a change, as wet weather is set to return on Sunday night and Monday. It may take until Tuesday for rain to reach New England.
As a whole, next week will feature much longer dry periods and less frequent storms when compared to this week.
Download the free AccuWeather app for your local forecast, including severe weather watches and warnings. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
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