A warm front that will spread scattered storms across the city and its suburbs early in the day will be followed by a much more severe system that may bring as much as 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain and damaging gusts, said David Stark, an agency meteorologist in Upton, New York.
“If you happen to see a thunderstorm in the morning, that is only the beginning,” Stark said by telephone. “The more widespread, significant rainfall may not occur until later in the afternoon or around sunset.”
A high-wind watch was issued for upstate New York, where gusts as high as 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour are possible, according to the weather service. An alert for gusts of as much as 50 mph was posted for New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware and parts of Maryland.
Winds of that strength can toss trash around cans and patio furniture and bring down utility lines, according to the agency. Driving may also be difficult, “especially on bridges and elevated roadways,” the weather service said.
These severe storms also have the potential to disrupt air traffic. Forecasters refer to New York, Chicago and Atlanta as the golden triangle and had storms in those areas almost always cause delays or cancellations.
The storm later tomorrow will be caused by a cold front coming down from Canada that will mix with a weather system now near Texas, Stark said. The East Coast from New York through parts of South Carolina has a 30 percent chance for severe weather, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
As much as 1.5 inches may fall in Washington, according to the weather service.
Flood watches are currently in effect from West Virginia to Alabama as heavy rain falls across the Appalachian Mountains. As much as 4 inches are expected across most of the area and 5 inches may fall in parts of Tennessee.
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