Feisty storms to rumble through southern Appalachians, mid-Atlantic
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 18, 2019, 9:54:15 PM EDT
Another round of damaging and drenching thunderstorms is in store across the southern Appalachians and coastal mid-Atlantic into Tuesday evening.
The new week started with severe storms targeting areas from southern Ohio to western Tennessee and the Delmarva Peninsula. There were dozens of reports of downed trees and power lines, along with isolated hail.
Part of this corridor will again be at risk for violent weather into Tuesday evening, but residents both farther south and north will also need to be on alert for rapidly changing weather conditions.
The risk of locally severe thunderstorms will shift a bit farther to the south, compared to recent days, extending into a large part of North Carolina, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
"However, if there is enough heating, the atmosphere may support severe storms with gusty winds and torrential downpours from southeastern Pennsylvania to northern Delaware and much of New Jersey as well."
Similar to Monday, wind gusts high enough to topple trees and power lines will be one of the most common characteristics of the storms.
Since the saturated ground may have already compromised the root structure of some trees, wind gusts do no need to reach the criteria for a severe thunderstorm (58 mph or greater) to cause damage.
A few storms can also produce hail. A couple of tornadoes cannot be ruled-out.
"Lightning poses the most widespread risk to people and pets outdoors," Sosnowski said.
Head indoors or into a hard-top vehicle at the first rumble of thunder.
"Avoid parking or standing under trees, which are most often struck by lightning and at risk for toppling over during storms," Sosnowski said.
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People traveling along Interstate 40 from Knoxville, Tennessee; to Raleigh, North Carolina; I-85 from Petersburg, Virginia; to Charlotte, North Carolina; and I-95 from Baltimore to Richmond, Virginia; should be prepared to slow down in heavy downpours.
Visibility will be drastically reduced in the storms, and ponding of water on the roadway will heighten the risk of vehicles hydroplaning while traveling at highway speeds.
"In this particular setup with repeating showers and thunderstorms, there is an elevated risk of flash flooding in urban areas and along small streams," Sosnowski said.
While showers and thunderstorms will continue to pester the mid-Atlantic at midweek, the risk of organized severe weather will be much less.
However, people are urged to keep in mind that any thunderstorm, severe or not, is capable of producing a deadly lightning strike.
On Wednesday, locations at greatest risk for severe storms will be from parts of the lower Ohio Valley to the southern Plains. Patches of heavy showers and storms can also occur elsewhere in the Central and Eastern states as well on Wednesday, including the Florida Peninsula.
"The risk of severe thunderstorms is forecast to increase substantially in the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic corridor on Thursday," Sosnowski said.
At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists are concerned that severe storms and even a few tornadoes are possible from eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey through Maryland, Virginia and into North Carolina.
Depending on the exact speed of the overall storm system, this risk area may shift farther north and west.
AccuWeather will continue to provide more details on the exact timing and threats for Thursday in the next couple of days.
Download the free AccuWeather app to receive severe weather alerts on your cellphone or tablet as soon as they are issued. 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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