Storms hit Friday commute hard in northeastern US
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
August 18, 2017, 9:45:59 PM EDT
The same storm responsible for severe weather in the central United States on Thursday will continue to swing across the Northeast through Friday evening.
The storms will get a boost from daytime heating and moisture that is across the Northeast, especially in the I-95 corridor.
"Given the comfortable conditions as of late, anyone from the mid-Atlantic to New York state will clearly notice Friday’s surge of very humid air," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
"All the moisture in the air and the building storms will translate to torrential downpours," Pydynowski said.
Over two inches of rain fell in just one hour in Washington, D.C. on Friday afternoon, leading to flooding around the city.
Road flooding was also reported around Philadelphia and Reading, Pennsylvania as well as around Baltimore.
The most widespread problem will be due to localized torrential downpours that can bring near-zero visibility and urban flooding. Motorists may need to reduce their speed to avoid the risk of hydroplaning or possibly take another route due to flooded streets and highways.
"Enough rain can fall in a short period of time to lead to small stream flooding as well," Pydynowski said.
As the storms approach the major hubs of Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., airline delays are likely to increase.
"Some of the storms will pack a punch in terms of wind and frequent lightning strikes," Pydnowski said.
Some communities may face fallen trees as well as power surges and outages. It is not out of the question for an isolated tornado to spin up, especially near the Chesapeake Bay region into eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Major League Baseball games are in jeopardy of being delayed or postponed in Baltimore, New York City and Boston on Friday evening.
Play at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has already been affected with the schedule being amended due to weather.
Later Friday night, the gusty thunderstorms will evolve into a zone of drenching rain that pushes eastward across New England. A few incidents of flash and urban flooding may follow along with the late-night rain.
By Saturday, the storm should have passed by and most of the region can expect some sunshine.
AccuWeather Severe Weather Center
Preparing for the costliest weather disaster in the US: How to stay safe before, during and after a flood
The difference between severe weather watches and warnings
However, a new storm sweeping across the Ohio Valley will need to be monitored for the potential to trigger heavy and gusty thunderstorms from Ohio to western Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon.
Humidity levels will begin to lower over the central Appalachians on Saturday. It may take until Saturday night or Sunday for there to be a noticeable difference near the Atlantic coast.
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