On Monday, forecasters warned that a storm system characterized as “complicated and active” was making its way across the Eastern United States. This system carried the potential for multiple rounds of widespread thunderstorms that could cause damaging winds, flash flooding, hail, and tornadoes. The unsettled weather was expected to stretch from New York to Georgia, with the highest risk in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center utilize a five-level scale to indicate the probability of severe weather occurring in a specific area. On Monday, they assigned a level four on the scale to the Washington-Baltimore area. This level has not been seen since June 2013 when widespread wind damage was reported across the Mid-Atlantic. Andrew Snyder, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Washington, explained that the atmosphere was expected to be in a volatile state, increasing the likelihood of severe thunderstorms affecting much of the area. Forecasters have a higher confidence for numerous damaging wind gusts, some potentially exceeding 75 mph.
An extensive area stretching from northeastern Tennessee to southern Pennsylvania could be affected by severe storms. Some of these storms could be long-lived and intense, which typically occur only once a year, if that. The risk expands beyond the Mid-Atlantic region, with over 40 million people residing within an area considered to have a moderate probability of experiencing these severe storms. This area includes major cities such as Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Charlotte.
While the risk was lower in New York City and other parts of the Northeast, forecasters cautioned that excessive rainfall could still occur, potentially leading to flash flooding. Despite the lower severity level, precautions still needed to be taken to ensure safety.
Overall, the storm system moving across the Eastern United States posed a significant threat. Residents in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond were advised to stay vigilant and prepared for severe weather conditions. It is crucial to monitor updates from weather forecasters and follow any instructions or warnings issued by local authorities to ensure the utmost safety.