Thunderstorms possible as cold front moves into Channel 11 viewing area

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PITTSBURGH - Chances of rain and a few thunderstorms increase as the day progresses, Severe Weather Team meteorologist Scott Harbaugh says, as a cold front begins to move into the WPXI-TV Pittsburgh area. 

Harbaugh said isolated strong storms will be possible south of Route 422 during the evening hours, and any strong storm could have gusty winds and hail.

Isolated flooding will be possible in the heaviest downpours due to already saturated ground. 

It’s important to note, however, that not everyone will get a thunderstorm and Harbaugh said they should be widely scattered.

Morning clouds and showers have slowed the development of thunderstorms across much of the Ohio Valley.  Sunshine generally acts to destabilize the air which allows a better environment for thunderstorms to form. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, a series of thunderstorms have flooded parts of Elk County in west-central Pennsylvania. The worst flooding was reported in Ridgway, Penfield and Jay Township.

Jay Township secretary Deborah Leonard said "training thunderstorms" -- those which moved through the area in rapid succession like train cars -- struck Wednesday morning.

The local fire hall was briefly flooded and Routes 255 and 555 were closed.

Much of the worst flooding was about 10 miles west of St. Marys, the county seat, in Ridgway. That's where St. Leo's Catholic School was evacuated about 11 a.m. and residents of a senior citizens' high-rise were taken to a fire station as a precaution.

The flooding and rains diminished by early afternoon. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Cooler air will work in for Thursday and Friday with a passing shower in a few locations.