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20°C
20°C

Severe Thunderstorms to Follow Extended Mid-Atlantic Heat Wave


(Bloomberg) — A weeklong heat wave that has baked the Mid-Atlantic region from Washington to New York City will be followed late Sunday by more forecasts of extreme weather, including severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes.

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Tornado watches have been posted until 8 p.m. Eastern time across upstate New York to Maine, including a large part of heavily populated suburban Boston, the National Weather Service said.

“A few tornadoes are likely,” the US Storm Prediction Center said. In addition, damaging winds as fast as 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour are likely, along with scattered large hail of as much as 1.5 inches (4 centimeters) in diameter.

The storms come after a stretch of intense, early-season heat and humidity along the Mid-Atlantic, with temperatures nearing record highs on Sunday for a second day in a row. The high in New York’s Central Park was 91F (33C) around 2 p.m., while it was 98F at Reagan National Airport outside Washington, tying a record for the date set in 1988.

The sizzling temperatures — the result of a large, persistent ridge of high pressure — have pushed energy demand, slowed trains and prompted local officials to urge people to stay hydrated and in air conditioning when possible.

New York state officials also issued an air-quality advisory for New York City, the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island.

The next band of thunderstorms will take the edge off the heat but relief for the region will be short-lived, with temperatures expected to climb again this week, forecasters said. The storms will also bring the possibility of flash flooding in low-lying and urban areas.

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