This evening’s commute home could be dicey.
Around lunchtime Wednesday, skies were already thickening with storm clouds and the wind was picking up across much of the Lehigh Valley. Weather radar showed a line of slow-moving showers and thunderstorms approaching from the north and west.
The National Weather Service says the heavy storms have the potential to bring torrential rains into Wednesday evening, which is why they have issued a flash flood watch for Northampton, Lehigh, Berks, Carbon and Monroe counties in east central Pennsylvania.
In a statement about the watch issued shortly after noon, the weather service said “slow-moving storms are expected to continue forming along outflow boundaries through the early afternoon across the higher terrain of the Poconos and portions of the Lehigh Valley. Slow storm motion and high rainfall rates may result in flash flooding.”
A flash flood watch means there is the potential for flash flooding due to heavy rain that is expected to occur over a short period of time.
“Rapidly rising flood waters may quickly inundate roadways and areas of poor drainage,” the statement indicated. “Streams and creeks could leave their banks, flooding nearby properties.”
The flash flood watch is in effect through 10 p.m. Wednesday.
According to the latest National Weather Service forecast for the Lehigh Valley area, this afternoon there is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. The long-term forecast indicates some chance of storms every day and night through at least Tuesday.
Although Hellertown borough and parts of Lower Saucon Township were spared, a severe thunderstorm cell that formed along the outflow boundary referenced by the NWS brought damaging hail to southern Northampton and upper Bucks counties Monday.
Hailstones as large as an inch in diameter brought down leaves and damaged property in the Bingen and Leithsville sections of Lower Saucon Township.
The statement issued Wednesday did not warn of the potential for hail.