Thunderstorms with winds as strong as 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour are erupting across the U.S. Northeast and have disrupted air traffic in New York, Newark and Philadelphia.
Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings stretch from Indiana to the coastal waters off Massachusetts, and one storm has already dropped inch-sized hail and knocked down trees in western Pennsylvania, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
“These are dangerous storms,” according to a National Weather Service warning issued for northern New Jersey. “If you are in its path, prepare immediately for damaging winds, destructive hail and deadly cloud-to-ground lightning.”
Last year, lightning damage caused $952.4 million in insured losses across the U.S. and killed 26 people, according to the Insurance Information Institute in New York. From 2004 to 2008 lightning caused 24,600 fires a year.
On June 29, severe thunderstorms touched off a windstorm known as a derecho that knocked out power from North Carolina to New Jersey.
Air traffic at New York’s La Guardia and John F. Kennedy airports has been delayed by more than two hours, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Traffic to Newark has been delayed by more than 90 minutes and departures have been stopped until 2:30 p.m. New York time, according to the FAA’s website. Aircraft are also being held up at Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington’s Reagan and Dulles airports.
A storm capable of producing a tornado was sighted near Binghamton, New York, and a tornado warning was issued for Lynn, Massachusetts, 14 miles north of Boston, according to theNational Weather Service.
The storms should pass by 9 p.m. in most areas, the Weather Service said.
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