A significant outbreak of severe weather still appears likely on a regional scale today, across portions of the Northeast U.S. and New England. Above is the latest severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, OK. Severe storms are forecast within the yellow shaded area on the image, with a risk for more widespread severe weather within the red shaded area on the same image.
The highest threat today will be that of very damaging straight line wind gusts. The potential exists for winds in excess of 70-80 mph with the most severe storms, which could take place on a relatively widespread basis within the red, lavender and black hatched area on the image below:
This pronounced threat of potentially significant wind damage includes the cities of Raleigh, Baltimore/Washington, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.
If you live or have travel plans in this region today, please take all warnings seriously. Some folks have a tendency to place less emphasis on a Severe Thunderstorm Warning than they do a Tornado Warning. While there may be some situations where that can generally be done safely, today is not one of them. With severe storms potentially producing wind gusts in excess of hurricane force on a widespread basis today, all severe thunderstorm warnings should be taken seriously. I strongly advise that you take the same precautions for a Severe Thunderstorm Warning today that you would normally take for a Tornado Warning, especially if you live within the red, lavender and black hatched area on the above image. If you'd like to review those safety and sheltering tips, please see this post.
Unfortunately, we saw a scenario play out in Oklahoma yesterday where two grandparents and their grandbaby were killed as a result of damaging straight line wind gusts. Please take this situation seriously today, as similar damage is likely to take place on an even larger scale, and potentially in very heavily populated areas.
With the above said, there will also be a threat of at least a few tornadoes today, especially within the yellow and brown shaded areas on the image below:
Tornadoes are most likely today under two scenarios: (1). brief, but still potentially damaging, tornadoes that form underneath a rotating storm within a bow echo or other damaging wind producing thunderstorm configuration, and (2). with any storm that is able to remain isolated and become well organized ahead of the main line (or lines) of thunderstorms that will develop.
Large hail will also be possible with severe storms across the entire severe weather outlook area for today.
If you live across the severe weather threat areas for today, please remain alert and listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local media or another trusted source for the latest information, watches and possible warnings.
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