Thursday, July 26, 2012

Incoming Severe Weather

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As we're crossing the 8 PM hour, storms are now sliding into New Jersey as the part of the line over Philly and the western burbs is weakening slowly. Rain, gusty winds will continue. The South Jersey part of the line will push towards the coast over the next hour or so. Strong storms continue back over Lancaster and York Counties, pushing down into Northeast Maryland over the next 30-45 minutes. Wilmington should get some rain showers and a breeze but the worst of the storms will avoid you in all likelihood.

Storms will cross the city between 7:45 and 8:15 with gusty winds, heavy rain, and lots of lightning. Some severe criteria gusts are possible in the strongest of storms as they slide into the city.

Radar shows a line of severe thunderstorms pushing east and southeast towards the Philadelphia metro.  Severe thunderstorm warnings (see below in orange) are out for the entirety of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Lehigh the Valley until 7:45, in Southeast PA until 8:15.  This line of severe weather has meant business throughout its trek east and southeast, with tornado warnings earlier for portions of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New York State and lots of damage throughout the Northeast so far today.

What can you expect over the next few hours as these storms push through?   Wind gusts that could reach or exceed 60 miles per hour, for starters...likely out in front of the main storm itself.  Strongest storms could bring wind gusts to 70 miles per hour.  Also, some hail can't be ruled out...with the potential of hail exceeding nickel size.   Odds, however, are that wind is going to rule the story from these storms as they push southeast over the next couple of hours.  Rainfall will be heavy but brief...generally a quarter to at most three-quarters of an inch of rain falling from this first round due to their relatively rapid movement.

These storms will cross the city between 7:45 and 8:30 tonight in the initial wave.  More storms, back near Pittsburgh, could cross the region in a weakened state towards 11 PM or so as the atmosphere is still quite charged up and primed with moisture.  The first round will likely take out the severe elements but the storms near Pittsburgh could bring additional rainfall to some locations.  We'll keep an eye on those.