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Keep Your Eyes on the Sky – Severe Weather Expected Thursday

A rush of warm, humid air expected in Schuylkill County Thursday afternoon holds potential for severe thunderstorms and maybe a tornado.

National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center placed all of Schuylkill County under an Enhanced (Level 3 of 5) risk of severe thunderstorms on Thursday.

Forecasters initially left out the extreme northeastern portion of Schuylkill County from the Enhanced risk area but in an update earlier this morning, it extended the area to include the whole county.

Enhanced Risk Severe Thunderstorms Thursday – Schuylkill County

Coal region residents may start to see storms pop up in the early afternoon Thursday, around noon. Temperatures will get noticeably warmer and the air very humid throughout the afternoon.

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That’s when a low pressure system with a cold front riding along pass over Schuylkill County. The same weather pattern is responsible for touching off severe weather, including tornadoes, across the Plains states on Wednesday.

Here, severe storms are likely and predicted to be widespread. These storms could include:

  • Frequent Lightning
  • Strong winds (sometimes gusting higher than 70 mph)
  • Possible tornado
  • Heavy rain

The risk of heavy rain is highest during the storms. National Weather Service predicts up to a half-inch of rain overall for much of Schuylkill County. However, amounts could be higher in areas that experience more storms.

And heavy, fast-moving rain is the last thing many Schuylkill County communities want to see Thursday (or for a while).

We’re just a few days removed from another flooding event in towns like Tremont, Pottsville, and Pine Grove.

Thursday’s weather also means first responders will be busy. Severe storms often touch off numerous reports of trees and power lines down across the area. So, power outages and impassable roads are also a possibility on Thursday in Schuylkill County.

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The expected severe weather also forced some last-minute changes in the District 11 softball playoffs Thursday. Game times for several local teams were moved up to try and get them in ahead of the weather.

What Does ‘Enhanced Risk’ Mean?

SPC says areas under an Enhanced risk of severe storms are likely to see more widespread activity. Those storms usually include high winds (sometimes in excess of 70 mph) and frequent lightning. There’s also a risk of large (1-2″) hail and possibly a tornado.

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