Bloomberg News

Severe Thunderstorms, Wind and Hail Heading Toward New York

July 29, 2011

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Severe thunderstorms are expected today across the U.S. Northeast, including New York City, with wind gusting as high as 70 miles per hour and hail almost as large as golf balls, the National Weather Service said.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect from New York to Philadelphia until 11 p.m., according to the weather service.

“Thunderstorms are expected to increase in coverage and intensity this afternoon,” according to a weather service bulletin. “Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather.”

There is a possibility a tornado may form in southeastern New York or northeastern Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

The storms are being driven by high humidity, said Mike Pigott, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

“It is the urban flooding that concerns me more, because there will be very heavy rain associated with these thunderstorms,” Pigott said.

At any given moment, there are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress somewhere in the world, and lightning has killed 13 people in the U.S. this year, the weather service said. An average of 57 people a year have been killed by lightning in the past six years.

--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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