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Tornadoes Unlikely In New England, But Expect Storms

By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Producer
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(Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

(Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – It has certainly been an April to forget for many folks in the Midwest and Deep South. April 2011 will likely break the record for most tornadoes for any month.

Check: Current Conditions | Weather Map Center | Interactive Radar

The prior record was 543 back in May of 2003. As of Wednesday the unofficial tally for the U.S. in April was 453.

That was before the events of last night, where preliminary estimates put the tornado outbreak somewhere around 150.

The average number of confirmed tornadoes for the entire month of April is 116. After all is said and done, we may look back at what happened last evening as one of the largest and deadliest tornado outbreaks ever.

The worst outbreak in our history took place in April of 1974 when 148 tornadoes touched down in 13 different states, causing 330 fatalities.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Several meteorological factors combined to create near perfect conditions for the severe weather yesterday.

A strong cold front combined with ideal conditions at upper levels of the atmosphere and the results were devastating. Weather conditions this perfect for severe weather only happen once or twice a year on average.

This same system is now moving east and will be affecting the entire East Coast today, but with much less punch.

The most likely areas where additional tornadoes may form – Virginia and North Carolina.

But the threat is significantly lower than the last few days.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN HERE?

Up in New England, we will not be completely spared but a significant cloud cover and a strong marine influence will likely prevent anything truly severe from occurring.

The best chance for any severe storms in our vicinity would be in western New England – places like the Berkshires, Vermont and Connecticut.

But again, tornadoes are very unlikely.

Watch Joe Joyce’s forecast:

Farther east, in the Boston area we will likely get some scattered showers and thunderstorms late this afternoon and this evening, the biggest threat from these being strong, gusty winds and very heavy downpours.

We will need to be on the lookout between 2-and-10 p.m. for any storms that could have damaging, straight-line winds or potentially flooding rainfall.

Thankfully, the atmosphere will take a break for a few days, but more potentially severe weather is possible in the deep South late in the weekend.

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