New York City was hit by a flash storm that canceled more than 200 flights across New York and New Jersey as locals share concerns about ‘spooky clouds’ and meteorologists warn the East Coast could soon be hit by a Cat-5 hurricane with winds of 165 mph
- Severe thunderstorms occurred on the east coast
- A weather front prevents a forecast Cat-5 hurricane from making landfall
- Travel chaos hit the region as more than 200 flights were cancelled
New York City and Boston are bracing for Category 5 Hurricane Lee to make landfall, but the East Coast is already seeing severe thunderstorms that are set to last through the weekend.
The area has been hit by high temperatures and high humidity in recent weeks, but both major metros are expected to be flooded on Friday evening.
The weather front has caused travel chaos in the skies with more than 200 flights from JFK, Newark and LaGuardia airports already canceled, according to FlightAware.
As the thunderstorms began, residents took to social media to share photos of ominous clouds filling the New York sky in a sign of what to expect.
The storms came on the heels of soaring temperatures across the East Coast, where temperatures exceeded 90 degrees for three consecutive days for the first time all year in New York City on Friday.
A heat advisory remains in effect for New York City and parts of New Jersey, where the heavy front resembles a tropical storm.
Officials are bracing for damage, as high winds, heavy rain and possible hail could cause flash flooding and structural damage in some areas.
Reports indicate downed trees and power lines in New Jersey, and a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for nearly the entire tri-state area until 11 p.m. Friday.
A flash flood warning was also issued for large swaths of the Hudson Valley after a period of dry and hot conditions.
Much of Massachusetts also remains under a severe thunderstorm watch, covering Middlesex, Essex, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties.
And in Hobseck Falls, New York, the city’s mayor urged residents to stay home after a powerful thunderstorm battered the community of 3,000 on Thursday. Downed trees and power lines were also reported in the area, and crews worked all day clearing roads that were blocked by debris.
Storm damage was also seen in Boxboro, Massachusetts — about 40 miles from Boston — where strong winds damaged several power lines and tree limbs.
Friday’s storms are expected to be the beginning of several weather bombs hitting the area through Monday, while heavy rain is expected to continue throughout the week as temperatures drop.
The severe weather comes amid growing concerns about Typhoon Lee, which was registered as a category one hurricane on Thursday, before strengthening to a category five overnight.
Lee was picking up steam as it headed toward the coast, with wind speeds exceeding 130 mph. It is expected to make landfall late next week, but meteorologists have struggled to determine the exact path of Hurricane Lee, leading to varying estimates of the extent of damage it could cause on the East Coast.
The hurricane slammed into open waters in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, sweeping through the northeastern Caribbean and missing Puerto Rico as it moved toward the United States.
Models of Hurricane Lee’s likely path show it has the potential to produce a deadly storm surge and heavy rains for cities including Boston and New York City.
“Lee continues to strengthen at an exceptional rate,” the National Hurricane Center warned Thursday.
Spaghetti models of Hurricane Lee’s track — maps that show a computer simulation of where the storm’s center could be in a number of days, given a range of variables — show Lee turning northeast and heading toward the east coast.
Lee recorded winds of up to 180 mph as it twisted over the ocean, but is expected to weaken to about 130 mph if it makes landfall.
(tags for translation)NYC