Potent Storms, Flooding Downpours Hit Atlantic Seaboard
UPDATED 2:30 AM EST, January 31, 2013
UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen
Severe thunderstorms and flooding downpours continue to pound the Atlantic Seaboard, with a few of these storms capable of triggering damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes for the next few hours. The system has a dangerous history associated with it across the Central and Eastern U.S. already.
A narrow line of intense thunderstorms stretching from Lower Maryland to eastern North Carolina will continue to march toward the North Carolina Outer Banks and Delmarva Peninsula this morning. The main caveat with the more organized thunderstorms embedded within the line will be destructive wind gusts approaching 60 mph. A secondary risk for a few tornadoes is also possible.
Tornado Watches cover the lower eastern Maryland shore, southeastern Virginia, and eastern North Carolina, including Salisbury, Md., Norfolk, Va., and Cape Hatteras and New Bern, N.C.
The line of thunderstorms is being maintained by a potent cold front advancing eastward through the Appalachian Spine, Mid-Atlantic and Carolinas this morning.
Almost 300 reports of severe weather were tallied on Wednesday alone from the Florida Panhandle to southwestern Pennsylvania. Of which, a confirmed tornado ripped through Adairsville, Ga., crossing Interstate 75, killing at least 1 person and tossing approximately 100 cars while also injuring 14 people. Eight more people were injured near Calhoun, Ga., where homes were heavily damaged or destroyed.
As if the severe weather aspect weren't enough, the lumbering storm has a lengthy history of producing flash flooding from the Ozarks and Missouri Boot heel all the way to the Interstate 95 corridor across the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately, all this Gulf moisture will be squeeze out like a sponge from the eastern Carolinas to northern New England before departing early this afternoon.
Flood Watches and Flash Flood Watches remain in place along the central and northern Appalachian Spine, as well as along the Interstate 95 corridor from the Mid-Atlantic to northern Maine. Another inch will add to the hefty 3 and 4 inch totals seen just north and west of the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metro areas this morning. One to 2 inches will pelt New England, where storm drains and rivers will become overwhelmed with excess runoff.
Even beyond the severe weather threat, the potent storm will whip up widespread gusty winds from Florida all the way to New England, where Wind Advisories remain in place today. High Wind Warnings are also in effect for the Appalachian Spine, as well as from Delaware to the eastern Maine coast today.
Frequent gusts topping 65 mph, coupled with heavy rainfall loosening soil, could topple trees and lead to sporadic power outages. Additionally, driving will be extremely difficult for those travelling in high profile vehicles. If you must travel, allow extra time and distance to arrive at your destination safely.
The rain and storms will sweep off the Atlantic Coast today, paving the way for colder, windy weather to round out the work week.
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