Derecho could cause havoc in area Thursday and Friday

There are flood watches in effect for all of southern New England through Saturday morning as a large, potentially dangerous storm, known as a derecho, is expected to hit southern Connecticut Thursday morning, June 13.

A derecho is a cluster of thunderstorms in a line that moves east or southeast, according to the National Weather Service. As it professes, the winds get stronger, often causing severe damage in its path.

The wet side of the derecho is typically to the north side of an east-tracking storm and the wind and severe thunderstorm side is typically to the south side, according to the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

This storm system is forecast to move from the Ohio Valley Thursday morning to the New Jersey Coast by Thursday night putting most of New England on the wet side of the storm. The storm system is then forecast to slow down and move just South of New England Thursday night and Friday Morning, according to state emergency management officials.

To the north of the storm track, a heavy band of rain is forecast to stretch from central Pennsylvania through all of southern New England. Total rainfall within this band is forecast to average two to five inches with locally higher amounts possible.

Soil conditions are currently saturated from all the recent rainfall across the state, emergency officials noted. Flash flooding is expected to occur if more than 2.5 inches of rain falls in any 6-hour period between Thursday at noon and Friday morning. Urban flooding is expected if rainfall rates exceed one inch per hour during this time.

There is also a threat from gusty winds in thunderstorms which may gust up to 45 mph inland and 50 mph along the coast. Given the saturated soils these wind gusts could down a significant number of trees in a few towns.