Severe Weather Could Affect Monday Morning Commute

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After a mild, mostly sunny weekend, severe weather overnight in the form of heavy rain and damaging winds could affect Monday morning’s commute, the National Weather Service said Sunday evening.

According to a weather briefing issued by the NWS office at Mount Holly, N.J. Sunday afternoon, “widespread ponding on roadways (is) likely with urban and small stream flooding possible, including into the early part of the morning commute.”

The weather service also warned that overnight there is a chance of heavy thunderstorms and even isolated tornadoes, which, it noted, is when severe weather is typically less common and most people are asleep.

The storms that are severe are expected to produce damaging wind gusts, which could bring down tree limbs and power lines, causing power outages.

The heavy rain that falls is expected to occur in two rounds, a flash flood watch statement from the NWS said.

The first round this evening will be followed by a second round after midnight.

“This comes just a few days after the area received one to two inches of widespread rain, making the ground already very saturated,” the statement said. “Any additional rain will quickly become runoff.”

Although the severe weather will move out of the area by Monday morning, it will be replaced with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible, which “could hamper any clean-up efforts and knock down additional trees, especially any
damaged in the overnight storms,” the weather briefing statement indicated.

The flash flood watch includes the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas and is in effect through late Sunday night.

A flash flood watch means there is the potential for flash flooding, which can be life-threatening. Heavy rain is expected to occur over a short period of time and rapidly rising flood waters may quickly inundate roadways and areas of poor drainage. Streams and creeks could leave their banks, flooding nearby properties.

Residents in the watch area should monitor weather forecasts–especially if they live in a location that is prone to flooding–and be prepared to take action if a flash flood warning is issued for their area. A flash flood warning means flooding is occurring.

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