By Steven Strouss
Severe weather outbreaks often occur during the Spring months and that is exactly what is happening right now. A potent storm system is ripping through the country spawning tornadoes from Oklahoma to Alabama. Seven people were killed in Arkansas when trees fell on homes yesterday and two people lost their lives in Oklahoma as windows shattered and roofs collapsed. Thousands of people are without power today in Mississippi and widespread property damage is being reported in Alabama. Interstate 20 remains closed near Clinton, MS due to flipped vehicles and softball sized hail destroyed cars in Simpson County, MS. Meanwhile, several locations across the region received over 5 inches of rain leading to flash flooding and on the Northwest side of the storm snow was falling from Nebraska to North Dakota.
Hundreds of additional storm reports can be found on the SPC website at www.spc.noaa.gov
This is certainly some wild weather for April as the battle of warm vs. cold continues and the whole storm system is racing toward our region and will be here by tomorrow. While we do not expect tornadoes like experienced in the heart of the country this week, we are forecasting gusty winds and very heavy rain for the Philadelphia area. Thunderstorms are possible across parts of the Delmarva and a wind advisory has been issued for the entire Delaware Valley from noon until midnight Saturday. We can expect showers through midday but the heaviest rain will fall late in the afternoon and Saturday night. Most models are forecasting between 1.0-1.5″ of rain for our area. The wind, however, will be a bigger concern. Sustained winds of 20-30 mph will blow form the Southeast but gusts to 45 mph may occur. There is potential for trees and tree limbs to come down. You should secure loose objects tomorrow night as the windiest period will be from 6-10pm. Rain will end overnight and the cold front will quickly exit and push through New England by Sunday morning.
After this, conditions will remain relatively quiet through Monday but we can expect more April showers and unsettled weather by the end of next week.