Storms Moving Into Northeast Ground Planes, Cut Power - by Brian K. Sullivan - bloomberg.com
Hundreds of flights were canceled and almost 100,000 customers lost power as severe thunderstorms accompanied by rain, hail and possibly a derecho windstorm swept into the Northeast.
A tornado reported in Elmira, New York, tore down trees, ripped roofs from buildings and trapped people in vehicles, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. A tornado watch was issued for parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
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The line of storms that crossed Elmira has the potential to explode in ferocity as it moves toward New York City, said John Hart, a meteorologist at the storm center.
“That is probably the most worrisome section right now,” Hart said by telephone. “We have not got the development of a derecho, but that potential is still there.”
The storm may reach New York City by 6 p.m. or later, said Erik Pindrock, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
A derecho struck the mid-Atlantic last month, leaving 4.3 million people without power from New Jersey to North Carolina as it unleashed winds of as much as 91 miles (146 kilometers) per hour, as powerful as a Category 1 hurricane. Twenty-four deaths were linked to the storm and its aftermath, according to the Associated Press.
Hart said conditions between western New York state and the coast are conducive to the creation of “a widespread swath of damaging winds” in a region including the New York City area.
A flash flood watch was posted for parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, where as much as 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain may fall quickly, the weather service said.
About 91,600 homes and businesses were without power in Ohio and Pennsylvania as of 5 p.m. local time, according to company websites. FirstEnergy Corp., based in Akron, Ohio, said about 9,200 customers in Ohio and about 61,600 customers in Pennsylvania had lost power. American Electric Power Co., based in Columbus, Ohio, said about 20,800 were without electricity service in that state.
At least 657 flights in the U.S. were canceled as of 5:15 p.m., with the majority of them, 130, originating at LaGuardia Airport in New York, said FlightAware, a tracking company based in Houston.
If the storms develop as expected, air traffic delays will get worse, said Tim Morrin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton, New York. The area where the Storm Prediction Center forecast a moderate risk of severe weather covers the air space from Boston to Philadelphia, he said.
“It will be like a domino effect,” Morrin said. “As the storms develop over Pennsylvania, that will start to close down the arrival and departure gates.”
Forecasters aren’t certain today’s storm will meet the qualifications of a derecho, said Roger Edwards, a meteorologist at the storm center.
“We are confident that there are going to be many wind damage reports from southern New England back into Pennsylvania and Ohio,” he said. “It’s just a question of whether it’s organized enough that we can call it a derecho.”
A derecho is defined as an event that has wind gusts of at least 58 mph and leaves a swath of damage for a minimum of 240 miles, according to the center’s website.
A University of Iowa science professor, Gustavus Hinrichs, came up with the term in a paper published in a meteorological journal in 1888, according to the storm center. The word means “straight ahead” in Spanish and Hinrichs used it to contrast the windstorms with tornadoes that have twisting winds.
Even if a derecho doesn’t form, the storms have already left snapped trees, damaged buildings and downed power lines from Ohio to New York, according to the storm center.
A less-intense wave of thunderstorms earlier today snarled air traffic along the East Coast from Boston to Philadelphia. Delays of more than three hours were reported at LaGuardia and in Newark, New Jersey, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Delays of 90 minutes or more have lasted all day at LaGuardia, Newark and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, the FAA said.
The threat prompted New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to cancel events in Rochester and Syracuse and to go to New York City to help manage storm preparations, according to a statement from his office.
Consolidated Edison Inc., which provides electricity to most of the New York City area, lifted a lockout so “necessary personnel” covered by its largest union could return and prepare for the storm, Cuomo said. About 3,000 of the locked-out workers are returning to work immediately to prepare for the potential storm and will remain for any repairs needed. They will return to the lockout afterward if a settlement hasn’t been reached by then, Cuomo said.
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Also see video report from AccuWeather.com
Damaging Winds, Flooding downpours, Hail and even Tornadoes are occuring from New York state to Pennsylvania. Bernie Rayno has an update.
Superstorm strikes East Coast: At least 300,000 without power after TORNADO sweeps through New York as torrential rain and hail batter eastern seaboard - Updated Daily Mail Report - by Beth Stebner and Louise Boyle
Residents of New York City battened down the hatches on Thursday night as a ferocious storm hit the city with howling winds, thunder and torrential rain.
Hundreds of flights were canceled and at least 300,000 homes suffered power cuts in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut after warnings of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, hail and hurricane-strength winds along the East Coast.
As of 7pm (EDT), 842 flights in the U.S. had been grounded with LaGuardia Airport in New York the worst affected with 162 planes unable to take off. ...click above Daily Mail link for latest news report
Original Daily Mail Report..
SUPERSTORM warning: New York and East Coast could be hit by tornado, hail and torrential rain within hours - by Beth Stebner - Daily Mail
Tornado touched down in Elmira, New York at 4.15pm with damage reported
Flights delayed up to 2 hours at JFK, La Guardia and Newark airports
A superstorm is barreling along the East Coast and expected to hit New York City in the next few hours with warnings of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and hail.
A tornado touched down in the city of Elmira, New York at 4.15 pm local time causing damage to buildings but no injuries had yet been reported.
The potentially-devastating weather pattern has made its way across the Midwest, with forecasters predicting Columbus, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will all be hit.
Storms will the rip through the East Coast tonight with some meteorologists predicting that the outbreak could be as bad as the storm which left millions without powers for days in Washington, D.C. last month.
Much of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York state are under moderate severe weather warnings, according to the National Weather Service.
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Vermont, Connecticut, and Delaware were also in the storm’s wake.
Tornado warnings were in effect for many parts of New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, including areas surrounding New York City.
JFK International Airport was already redirecting flights to the nearby Newark.
Flights were currently delayed up to 90 minutes at JFK, but Newark is reporting two-hour delays.
New York’s LaGuardia Airport is also experiencing delays of an hour and a half, and travellers in Philadelphia have to wait on average 58 minutes, reports the Federal Aviation Administration.
Areas spanning from New England to the Midwest can expect three to five inches of rain.
New York City was hit by a freak storm two weeks ago which brought flash floods and booming thunderstorms.
Subway stations were shut down as water submerged tracks leaving many commuters stranded.
Meanwhile, additional showers, periods of heavy rain, and thunderstorms will continue along and ahead of the associated cold front as it extends southwest from the low through the Southern Plains with waves of low pressure.
There is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorm development from Ohio through the Lower Northeast, while areas from the Upper Great Lakes and the Mid-Mississippi Valley northeastward to southern New England are at slight risk for severe weather development
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