By Steven Strouss

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The high temperature soared to 96 degrees this afternoon in Philadelphia making today the hottest day of 2014. The combination of heat and humidity made it feel insufferable outside and also triggered severe thunderstorms, and flash flood warnings this evening. The CBS3 weather team counted over 10,000 lightning strikes since 6pm as storms were still raging furiously over New Jersey. Numerous house fires were sparked by lightning strikes across the region.

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The concerns of wild weather are not over yet as the area goes under a Flash Flood Watch Thursday morning. Showers and thunderstorms along a stalled cold front will connect with tropical moisture from Arthur resulting in periods of heavy rain for the region Thursday afternoon. Rainfall amounts of 1-3″ could cause flooding along area streams and poor drainage flooding is also expected.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Arthur continues to spin swiftly off the Florida coast tonight. The storm will pick up in intensity and ride up the US Atlantic coast as a Category 1 Hurricane during the next 48 hours. Hurricane Watches and Warnings have been posted for eastern portions of the Carolinas where Arthur will bring heavy rain and gusty winds. The good news for us is that the storm will track out to sea which means sky conditions should clear up in time for the July 4th evening celebrations.

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High pressure will move in on Saturday and provide plenty of sunshine but dangerous rip currents and rough surf will linger at the shore as Arthur pulls away. Always swim near a lifeguard if you go in the water. Sunday will be nice with more sunshine and highs will be in the mid 80s but next week looks hot and humid again.


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