Storm hits fast; more rain likely on way

Reports of downed trees and wires came in throughout the area Sunday evening as a fast-moving thunderstorm swept through the region around 5 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service in State College, winds reached 49 mph and meteorologist Kevin Fitzgerald said some spots in the city may have seen stronger gusts. And with such powerful wind, it increased the possibility of storm damage.

“With winds getting to around 50 or 60 mph, certainly you expect sporadic power outages because of trees and limbs down,” he said.

According to PPL Electric’s website, close to 200 customers in the county lost power. More than half of those outages were reported in Shrewsbury Township. The city and Loyalsock Township accounted for 75 outages, according to the site.

The weather service reported that the Williamsport Regional Airport received 0.28 inches of rain during the heaviest rainfall of the evening, but Fitzgerald said the northern and western parts of the city may have received closer to an inch.

Fitzgerald explained that a trough of low pressure over the Ohio Valley moved toward the area, which resulted in the storm. He added that with the amount of moisture in the “unstable air,” it created the fast-moving storm.

“There’s a lot of moisture for this trough to work with,” he said.

The county was under a severe thunderstorm warning and flood advisory for most the evening Sunday.

The pattern of high humidity will continue to bring the threat of thunderstorms throughout the area for the beginning of the week, Fitzgerald said.

“It looks like this pattern of relatively high humidity will continue with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. I’d say an unsettled weather pattern (up until mid-week),” Fitzgerald reported.

Late afternoon and evening times are the most vulnerable to showers.

With temperatures in the mid to upper 80s with high humidity during the week, Fitzgerald said it will be a warm one.

The area finally could get a break from the impending showers as drier air is a possibility Friday and Saturday.