Destructive thunderstorms, some with hurricane-force wind gusts, are moving through the northeast today, prompting the National Weather Service to issue numerous Severe Thunderstorm Watches and Warnings.
The National Weather Service says that thunderstorms will increase in coverage and intensity through the afternoon/evening while spreading eastward from West Virginia across northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York. The storm environment will favor clusters and line segments capable of producing damaging winds up to 70 mph, as well as isolated large hail near 1 inch diameter. Isolated tornadoes can also not be ruled out.
While 70 mph wind gusts are likely in some storms, it is possible for winds to reach 75 mph to 80 mph or more in powerful gusts, which would make them comparable to winds found in a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. According to the National Weather Service, persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible
While there are no Watches or Warnings for Philadelphia and New York City as of the publication of this article, that could change as the storms march east. However, conditions at the immediate coastline should help to weaken the storms as they approach. Nevertheless, everyone around the northeast should remain weather-aware today as the threat of severe weather looms.