As the Midwest prepares for high damaging winds, local residents likely will deal with a steady rain that was expected to begin Wednesday night and will continue through today and into the evening, causing possible flooding, according to meteorologists in the state.
The National Weather Service in State College issued a flood watch for the county on Wednesday and lasting until 8 p.m. tonight.
Those in low-lying areas, especially those with poor drainage and along creeks and streams, are expected to be most affected by flooding.
"That basically means we're anticipating several rounds of thunderstorms," said meteorologist Elyse Colbert, of the National Weather Service.
Although unlikely to see thunderstorms like those in neighboring states, Colbert said locals have a slight chance of experiencing damaging winds. The country's Midwest and southern states have been in the news recently because they could see a derecho - a term used to describe a fast-moving storm with damaging winds.
Meteorologist John Gresiak, of Accuweather, reported that winds wouldn't be a problem in this area, but a steady rain throughout today will be something to monitor.
"Basically, in the Williamsport area, we're expecting a rain that will begin (Wednesday night) ... and continue pretty much pretty steady through (to)day," Gresiak said.
A low-pressure system traveling from northern Iowa and Minnesota is predicted to bring about 1 to 2 inches of rainfall today, which Gresiak said is more than the area is used to seeing in such a short amount of time.
"This time of year, that's a good two to three weeks of rain if you're talking about normal rainfall," he said.
And despite seeing several thunderstorms today, they shouldn't be severe, which Colbert explained are those with winds over 50 mph.
Colbert described the low-pressure system as "powerful," adding that a mixture of moisture and an upper-level disturbance have strengthened the storm. On the reason for such a powerful storm, she said it's "a lot of ingredients at the right place at the right time."
The system isn't only powerful, but rare for this time of year.
Gresiak explained that instead of breaking out the umbrellas, residents usually are bringing out snow shovels during a storm like this. He explained that this type of storm is commonly seen during the winter and if the area had experienced it during the winter months, it would've brought about 1 foot of snow with it.
As far as road conditions are concerned, Gresiak said motorists should use the same caution while driving during their commutes as they would with any rain. Roads will be slick and there could be some "ponding of water" on roads that drivers should be aware of.
Gresiak said after this system moves past the area, another one will travel through bringing a second round of rain Friday afternoon.