Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for parts of Maryland and Virginia
While the primary threat will be damaging wind gusts, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out
A cold front tracking into the mid-Atlantic on Friday could trigger severe thunderstorms that have the potential to impact cities such as Washington and Richmond, Virginia.
This end-of-week severe weather threat is associated with the same system that spawned an EF-2 tornado on Thursday in Wyoming County, New York. The twister mostly damaged trees and power lines, but at least one barn was reported to have collapsed in Java Center.
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Friday's storms are expected to fire up farther south, in the mid-Atlantic region, during the afternoon and early evening as the cold front tracks southeastward.
The main areas at risk of severe thunderstorms are parts of Virginia, southern Maryland and the Delmarva Peninsula, including Washington and Richmond and Norfolk in Virginia.
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The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 8 p.m. EDT for southern Maryland, southeastern Virginia and the coastal waters.
While the primary threat will be damaging wind gusts, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.
"Today, we do have a very low risk of tornadoes, but that was the setup for yesterday, so it's always a good reminder that although the parameters might show that we have an unlikely setup, it's always important to listen out for potential warnings," said FOX Weather meteorologist Britta Merwin.
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Despite the minimal tornado risk, Merwin noted that strong straight-line winds can cause just as much damage as a weak tornado, so residents in the mid-Atlantic are urged to take these storms seriously.
Frequent lightning is also expected, along with the potential for localized flash flooding.
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