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Severe Storms Bubble Up Around New England

Updated: Jun 20

This is a developing situation. Updates may be added to this article

After days of intense heat and humidity, an approaching cold front has provided lift for more widespread storm activity. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for a large portion of New England at 1pm. At around 1:45pm, storms began to bubble up. The storms quickly filled in and gained strength, taking advantage of the heat and humidity.

The biggest severe threat today was damaging winds gusts, which is exactly what occurred. There were widespread reports of strong winds taking down trees and power lines, especially across Maine. At 9:15pm, there were about 28,500 without power in Maine and a total of 37,000 across New England as wind damage was reported in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. This came a day after another round of storms knocked out power to around 28,000 in New England 24 hours earlier.

One large cell that began deep in central Maine held its strength as it moved southeastward through the Bangor area and right to the coast. This cell was responsible for a majority of the outages and damage reports in Maine, however, another cell also hit Cumberland County rather hard, with nearly 9,000 outages reported there around 7pm.

Wind damage in Windham, Maine. Photo: Central Maine Power

Plot of wind damage reports from two potent cells that moved through Maine:

There were also several reports of hail ranging from 1 to 1.3 inches in diameter across New England. One report from Canaan, New Hampshire mentioned large hail falling for nearly 10 minutes. The hail coated grassy surfaces and was also reported to have broken windows at a local restaurant.

Some torrential downpours also occurred with the storms, with reports of flooding and ‘significant ponding’ in the Portland area. A flash flood warning was also issued for a small area near the Massachusetts-New Hampshire-Vermont border after an estimated 1-3 inches of rain fell in a short period of time.

Lightning strikes also caused fires in Maine, including one in Sebago that started a large house fire.

A severe thunderstorm watch has been extended through 11pm for much of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and western Maine as another line of storms moves through New Hampshire and Massachusetts this evening. The watch was originally slated to end at 8pm.



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