Last updated: June 12. 2013 11:08PM - 1962 Views

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is sitting directly in the path of a major weather system that could dump significant rain, bring hail and high winds, and cause flooding.

Officials are monitoring the coming storm, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency spokesman Cory Angell said late Wednesday afternoon.

Angell said a standby worker was added at the emergency operations center in Harrisburg and officials had ensured two National Guard helicopters were ready if needed for water rescues.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Fitzgerald in State College said the entire state was under a flood watch for high waters overnight and through the day Thursday. He said the front was powerful for mid-June.

“It’s certainly not unheard of, but this time of year it’s very strong relative to the season,” Fitzgerald said. “In the winter, the strength of the storm wouldn’t be that big a deal.”

Fitzgerald said the greatest risk of flooding was in the northern part of the state, while the worst thunderstorms are expected in southern areas of Pennsylvania.

Due to the projected weather as well as earlier rains, the U.S. Golf Association announced Wednesday that it will close the Rose Tree Park in Media for the remainder of the 113th U.S. Open Championship at Merion Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia. Spectators driving to the event will be directed to alternative parking at Granite Run Mall about three miles away, a spokesman said.

In Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania, an evening concert and movie at Schenley Park as well as softball and baseball games at city parks were canceled Wednesday, and a horseshoes competition scheduled Thursday was rescheduled for next week. Officials also said city spray parks would be closed and the Thursday farmer’s market in Market Square was canceled due to weather concerns.

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