Severe storms pose threat to Delaware on Sunday


DOVER — Sunday is not shaping up to be one of those postcard-looking June days where folks are lying under umbrellas at the beach, grilling up scrumptious dinners on backyard barbecues or enjoying life outdoors.

Instead, a nasty forecast is threatening to wash out many of Sunday’s events, including “Delaware State Parks Day,” which is offering free admission to most state parks such as Killens Pond in Felton.

Meteorologist Walter Drag of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service in Philadelphia/Mount Holly, New Jersey, said for Delawareans to expect “a very unsavory day, relatively speaking.”

The ingredients are falling into place that could possibly make a messy and dangerous end to the weekend on Sunday, according to Mr. Drag.

“It’s going to be an active day,” Mr. Drag said. “I’m pretty sure there’s going to be relatively brief torrential rains involved with thunderstorms along with the potential for damaging winds. I’m not sure how extensive they will be, but there will be some in the area.

“I can say that Sunday will be much more active than with the system that was in the area [Friday].”

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has placed the entire state of Delaware in an enhanced risk for the potential of severe weather Sunday.

The primary threat from thunderstorms Sunday afternoon and evening is strong damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. The threat of a tornado and/or large hail is far more uncertain and will be refined as the potential weather event draws closer.

There also will be the potential for localized heavy rainfall on Sunday. The first threat will come in the morning, particularly near and to the northwest of I-95. Then, in the afternoon, portions of Delmarva, New Jersey and Pennsylvania could receive heavy rains.

The main threat is urban and poor drainage flooding.

The rainy days have become something that Raymond E. Bivens, the director of Delaware State Parks, has become all too familiar with this spring.

It could certainly affect the state parks’ free admission day on Sunday.

“My personal observations and from talking to staff the very rainy weather for most of May was keeping people away,” Mr. Bivens said. “We had a very strong Memorial Day weekend with every campground, cabin and cottage filled statewide by Monday before Memorial Day.”

Mr. Drag said Sunday’s forecast looks foreboding for those thinking of heading out to the parks.

“The bottom line is what people should be prepared for is altering their day’s plans due to thunderstorms and intense rainfall,” Mr. Drag said. “And people should be cognizant if they receive a warning of a severe thunderstorm in their area to seek shelter as necessary.

“People need to stay informed and try to be safe.”

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm risk for Delmarva on Sunday. (NOAA)

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm risk for Delmarva on Sunday. (NOAA)

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