WARNING: Severe storms, hail and ‘frequent lightning’ possible today in Shelton

stormy-weatherThere is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for southwestern Connecticut on Tuesday, June 23, until 4 p.m.

There is a possible severe storm Tuesday afternoon and evening as a cold front tracks through the region, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

“Damaging wind gusts and large hail will be the primary threats,” the NWS said on Tuesday.

The severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties in Connecticut. It is also in effect for 11 counties in southern New York state.


‘Frequent lightning’ possible

Showers and thunderstorms are likely in southwestern Connecticut mainly after 4 p.m., according to the weather service. Some storms could be severe with damaging winds, heavy rain and frequent lightning.

Before that, Tuesday is expected to be partly sunny with a high near 88 in southwestern Connecticut. The chance of precipitation is 60%. The afternoon rainfall could total between a quarter and a half inch of rain.

Watch vs. warning

A severe thunderstorm watch means that the potential exists for the development of thunderstorms that may produce large hail or damaging winds.

A severe thunderstorm warning, on the other hand, means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information. You should move indoors to a place of safety.

The term “severe” refers to hail that is dime size, 0.75 inches in diameter or larger, and/or wind gusts to 58 mph or more. Although lightning can be deadly it is not a criterion for what the National Weather Service defines as severe since any ordinary thunderstorm can produce a lot of lightning.

Also, excessive rainfall may lead to flash flooding, but heavy rain is not a criterion for the term severe. Severe strictly refers to hail at least 3/4 of an inch in diameter or wind gusts of at least 58 mph.