Philadelphia weather forecast predicts severe thunderstorms today

Malvern Borough shut down its government. Several school districts have decided to send children home early or cancel after-school programs.

But forecasts of severe thunderstorms with hail, wind gusts of up to 60 mph and possibly even a stray tornado on Monday afternoon didn’t quite follow the script. In fact, by the time schools normally closed, the sun had broken through the clouds in much of the region.

Shortly before 6 p.m., a storm with heavy rain passed through the area, but the weather service said it had “weakened to below severe limits”.

It was not the first time that a severe thunderstorm watch, in effect until 8 p.m., had passed without incident. However, in this case, weather experts said they were baffled by the reaction to the forecasts which are not exactly uncommon in late spring and summer here.

“We’ve seen this stuff before,” said Carl Erickson, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. “I don’t know what rattled everyone.”

He said he could not recall a case where schools decided to send children home early because of a threatening thunderstorm.

“I was a little surprised myself,” said Trent Davis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly. He called it “definitely a new thing for me”.

It was also a novelty among his colleagues, he added.

In the case of Fort Washington Primary School in the Upper Dublin School District, the early dismissal decision likely had something to do with Ida remnants’ anger in September. The school was badly damaged by a tornado spawned by Ida, was closed from September 1 to January 19, and students and staff are still struggling with PTSD.

Other school districts that announced early closures included Radnor Township, Tredyffrin/Easttown, Abington and Upper Perkiomen districts.

Typical of what other districts posted, Tredyffrin/Easttown cited “severe adverse weather forecast for this afternoon, including high winds and hail.”

Philadelphia and other districts also canceled after-school activities, and the borough of Malvern imposed a government shutdown Monday afternoon, posting a “Sorry, we’re closed” sign on its website.

However, if school buses or government workers in Malvern had any problems on Monday afternoon, they were probably not weather-related.

The government’s storm prediction center said ‘supercells’, thunderstorm systems capable of spinning rotating winds that can spawn tornadoes, are possible along the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to New York. and throughout New Jersey.

But the first batch of storms bypassed the Philadelphia area to the north and west, Davis said. The weather service’s closest severe weather report was from Berks County.

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Conditions were particularly volatile on Monday, the weather service said, with an approaching cold front, a strong pulse of moisture and very unstable and energized air.

The region, however, was spared the worst, AccuWeather’s Erickson said.

He said the region could expect “great weather” on primary day, and that was not a campaign promise.

Contributing editors Michaelle Bond, Kristen A. Graham, and Michael Klein.

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