Severe storms, flooding downpours to ramp up in northeastern US prior to week's end
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 11, 2019, 10:52:28 PM EDT
After locally severe storms hammer the Appalachians and some of the major mid-Atlantic cities into Thursday evening, localized flooding downpours are forecast along the Interstate 95 corridor and coastal areas of the Northeast Thursday night into early Friday.
The main threats from the storms from eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina to northern New York state, Vermont and neighboring Canada will be strong wind gusts, flash flooding and frequent lightning strikes.
The Pittsburgh area has already been hit hard by one round of drenching thunderstorms during Thursday morning. Homes were flooded and motorists became stranded in high water.
Up to 3 inches of rain fell in as many hours in the region.
On Thursday afternoon, New Hanover, Pennsylvania, received over 4.6 inches of rain from heavy, slow moving thunderstorms. This is close to the town’s total rainfall for the month of July, which is around 5 inches.
The storms turned deadly on Thursday evening after a pregnant woman and her son were swept away in floodwaters while in their vehicles. The woman and child were both found dead, according to NBC 10.
Into Thursday evening, the risk will shift a bit farther east. Among the cities that may be affected are Albany and Poughkeepsie, New York; Burlington and Rutland, Vermont; Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg and Scranton, Pennsylvania; Somerville, New Jersey; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and Roanoke, Virginia.
Washington, D.C., and Frederick, Maryland, were hit hard by flash flooding during Monday morning. Washington, D.C., received 3.30 inches of rain in an hour.
"During Thursday night, the intensity of the storms will diminish in terms of wind gusts," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek.
"However, a considerable threat will remain in terms of urban and small stream flooding from near I-95 to the immediate coast of the mid-Atlantic and New England," Dombek said.
As of 7 p.m. EDT, airports from Boston Logan International in Massachusetts to Charlotte-Douglas International in North Carolina have delayed and canceled flights due to inclement weather.
The weather pattern has the potential to unleash rainfall on the order of 1-2 inches per hour and perhaps 3 inches per hour in extreme cases.
The downpours may persist in part of this busy travel swath into Friday.
Motorists and airline passengers should anticipate delays.
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Dry air is forecast to filter southeastward across the Great Lakes region and into the central Appalachians on Friday. However, it may take until Saturday midday and afternoon before it turns a bit less humid in coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England.
The change in air will result in slightly lower temperatures at night this weekend, but because the sun is intense at this time of the year, the afternoons this weekend will still be quite warm in the Appalachians and very warm to hot near the coast.
Much of next week will feel like the middle of the summer.
"We expect a heat wave to build in much of the Northeast during next week," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
"Exactly how hot it gets and for how long will depend on the movement of Barry, which became a tropical storm on Thursday," Pastelok said.
Highs near or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit are likely to be common from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic and part of New England. At least a couple of days of hot weather are also likely in northern New England as well.
In some of the major I-95 cities, highs are likely to be in the middle 90s.
AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures are likely to be 10-15 degrees higher than the actual temperature from the late morning through the afternoon hours due to the amount of sunshine, building humidity and light winds anticipated.
Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios for the latest on the severe weather, heat and tropics.
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