A potent storm system socked the Mid-Atlantic and as far north as New York on Thursday, with the Washington metro area among those asked to be on the alert for twisters.
Around 6:45 p.m., a handful of counties in Virginia were under tornado warnings tied to this system. Previously, such warnings had gone out for parts of Maryland and Delaware.
By then, the storms had already done some damage in other ways. Photos posted to Twitter from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania — which is just outside of Reading — showed some cars with smashed windshields thanks to large, powerful hail. Lt. Thomas D. Endy said two police cars in town aren’t drivable, and three can go out only if absolutely necessary.
“It got really loud,” said Heather Knaub, who was working at a department store in Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing when the hail started pounding down, eventually caving in some overhead glass windows. “… It looked like a white-out; hail was everywhere.”
The National Weather Service, in fact, documented scores of other such reports, including ones indicating hail the size of golf balls in locales from Hamden, New York, to Roxbury Mills, Maryland.
Storms downed several trees in Wyndham, Virginia, where up to an inch of hail was reported. Plus, authorities said that trees were down in and around the upstate New York city of Schenectady, and the weather service tweeted there was a tornado in the surrounding county on Thursday.
Much of upstate New York is also under flash flood warningsthrough the night. The forecast for Poughkeepsie, New Palz and other municipalities on and around the Connecticut border calls for 1 to 3 more inches of rain Thursday night, on top of the half-inch to 1½ inches that have already fallen. Some places north of Rome, New York, already got as much as 6 inches of rain.
The system caused headaches for those traveling in and out of the region, with all traffic bound for New Jersey’s Newark airport, New York’s LaGuardia airport and Philadelphia’s airport not allowed to take off until after 6:30 p.m.
And the Mid-Atlantic wasn’t the only part of the country braving severe weather.
Hazardous weather outlooks were in effect for huge swaths of the central and southwestern United States — as far north as Montana and North Dakota, as far south as Arizona and Texas, and as far east as Tennessee.
Source: CNN | Greg Botelho