Showers and Thunderstorms Covered Eastern US on Saturday

January 9, 2013

Rain and Thunderstorms moved across eastern United States on Saturday as two frontal patterns lingered over the East Coast. One system stretched from the Gulf Coast to the South Carolina and produced more widespread, scattered showers and thunderstorms throughout the day.

A series of strong thunderstorms made their way across the Ohio Valley and the mid-Atlantic late Thursday night, resulting in two people losing their lives and which left more than 100,000 without power. At least one twister touched down in Elmira, New York – ripping trees out of the ground and tearing roofs off homes. The storms caused hundreds of flights to be canceled across the country with the highest number of cancellations occurring at LaGuardia Airport in NYC. The National Weather Service said that 70 mile per hour winds were reported in several states which were pounded by rain, lightening and hail. The weather service also issued flood warnings for several counties in western Pennsylvania Saturday after more rain was in the forecast following Thursdays storms which dumped between one to four inches of rainfall.

The rainfall amounts of two to three inches which many areas of the drought-stricken country got over the last few days was not enough to end the current drought. Between nine and twelve inches of rain is needed in order to return ample moisture to the dry, parched ground. This is the United States’ worst drought in 55 years and more than half of the country has experienced moderate to extreme drought conditions this month. High pressure will remain in place over the southern Plains states, leading to another long period of extreme heat.

There is no end in sight to the high temperatures which have been plaguing much of the United States nor any significant rainfall forecast for the near future. which are sure to cause food prices to rise all across the country as many farmers cannot harvest their crops due to the lack of rain. Temperatures reaching 100 degrees has been a big story thus far this summer. For instance, in Witchita, Kansas, the city has experienced seventeen days of 100 degree or higher temperatures in July alone. Usually Witchita only experiences a total of twelve days per year where temperatures soar above 100.

Thus far in July, there have only been fifteen tornadoes reported in the country which is the fewest for the month since back in the 1950s when record-keeping began. The lack of tornadoes is due to the drought as fewer rainfalls equate to few chances of twisters which only form during thunderstorms.

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