Severe weather, including a tornado, hit parts of New England Monday afternoon.
A trained spotter with the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado near New Sweden, Maine.
Severe thunderstorm warnings affected counties in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and Massachusetts all Monday afternoon, resulting in hail, lightning, strong winds and heavy downpours.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued for much of the region except Cape Cod and the Islands until 8 p.m.
Keep in mind that a Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favorable for the development of damaging thunderstorms in and around the defined area, including frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, wind gusts in excess of 58 mph capable of knocking down trees, limbs and power lines, and the potential for large hail.
Already today, we’ve seen hail and wind across Northern New York and Northern Vermont…and more storms are expected to fill in to the south and east, for most of the remainder of New England.
Stay alert for warnings, meaning severe weather is imminent, and be prepared to seek shelter indoors, away from windows when storms threaten. No change to our thinking on timing, below.
Our Early Warning Weather Team is providing live radar coverage of the storm on-air and online – if your neighborhood is in a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, seek shelter inside, away from windows. Though lightning is not a factor in the issuance of Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, lightning poses a deadly threat - if you can hear thunder, you likely are close enough to be at risk and should shelter inside until the storm passes.
Keep in mind that even non-severe thunderstorms can produce strong winds, small hail, dangerous lightning, and heavy rain.
As always, your necn Early Warning Weather Team will continue to provide radar analysis, street-level forecasts, critical information to save life and property, and suggested actions through our continuing coverage. In addition to our live coverage, you can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information via www.necn.com’s weather page, and our mobile app.
Earlier story below:
As heat and humidity reaches a climax in New England today, an approaching disturbance aloft, driving a cold front east out the Great Lakes at the surface, will ignite thunderstorms from Upstate New York, then west to east across New England, during the midday and afternoon hours Monday. Though moisture is limited through a deep layer of the atmosphere, reducing the risk of localized flooding with any thunderstorms, ample wind is present aloft to warrant a threat for damaging downburst, straight-line winds inside developing storms. Of course, strong wind gusts inside thunderstorms are capable of downing trees, tree limbs and power lines in the communities hardest hit...and even in weaker storms, cloud-to-ground lightning is always a concern, so seeking shelter indoors when storms approach is a must: if you can hear thunder, you're close enough for lightning to be a danger.
Timing of the storms appears to be from as early as midday in Western New England - Vermont and the New York border with Massachusetts - to a 2-4 PM timeframe in Central New England and 4-6 PM from Boston to Hartford and some of the southern suburbs...eventually into Providence. Cape Cod should actually stay storm-free for the day, with perhaps some weakening showers during the evening.
There are some finer details we can examine in the near-term, high-resolution guidance that continue to support the notion of damaging wind with some storms. In the following image, surface wind gust speed is plotted, and it's clear the Boston area is one region forecast to receive focused, high wind gusts in storms this afternoon, as building thunderheads tap sufficient wind aloft and carry that wind down to ground level. Both of these images are valid at 5 PM and illustrate a band of strong wind gusts across New Hampshire - it's possible these extend farther south, toward the Boston area, but certainly this gives a good indication we're looking at the potential for some gusty storms today:
You can bet we'll keep you posted on NECN as the storms develop today.