An outbreak of severe thunderstorms that could impact millions and snarl air travel across the country is expected to unfold today and tonight across a large portion of the Ohio Valley and Northeast.
Storms with torrential rain, damaging winds and hail will be ongoing this morning from the central Great Lakes into a portion of the Northeast, before another, possibly more significant round takes shape a bit farther south this afternoon and evening.
There is the potential for a large area to experience destructive wind gusts in excess of 70 mph, enough to bring down trees, damage structures and cause power outages that could last for days.
Major metropolitan areas, including Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Albany and Hartford, are among those included in the enhanced risk zone for damaging winds through tonight.
An even larger area will still be at risk for severe weather, stretching from the mid-Mississippi Valley near St. Louis and Paducah all the way east into the mid-Atlantic and north to New England.
Similar to Wednesday night's damaging storms in the Upper Midwest, many areas will actually experience their worst weather after dark, especially along the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston.
In addition to the threat of powerful wind gusts, the setup appears ripe for a few storms to spawn tornadoes. This will especially be the case near the leading edge of a push of warm, humid air from northern Pennsylvania and southern New York into southern New England at night.
Hail as large as golf balls and rain heavy enough to cause rapid street flooding will also accompany many storms.
Driving along even major interstates could become difficult during storms, whether it be along I-71 from Louisville to Cleveland, I-80 from Akron to New York or I-84 from Scranton to Worcester.
By the end of the night, tens of thousands of lightning strikes will have occurred from the storms. Even if you are well ahead of or behind a storm, you still face the risk of being struck by lightning.
With such a multifaceted threat faced over a wide, highly-populated area, it is important that everyone from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast stay up-to-date with the latest on the location of the storms.
Tropical Depression Two has formed in the Atlantic and could become the next tropical storm of the season by midweek.
Severe storms will rumble through parts of the Midwest, including Chicago, early Tuesday night.
Warm and humid air in place over much of the Midwest and Northeast at midweek will contribute to the risk of drenching, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
With the recent heat fading away, more relief will greet the Northwest by midweek in the form of rain.
Simla, CO (1996)
4.5" diameter hail.
Mid-Atlantic Ocean (1788)
(22nd-24th) George Washington Hurricane; After causing ship disasters off SW Bermuda, the storm moved NW over Tidewater, NC and VA to pass right over George Washington's Mt. Vernon plantation. On July 24th, George Washington wrote in his diary: "About noon the wind suddenly shifted from NE to SW and blew the remaining part of the day violently from that quarter. The tide this time rose near higher than it was ever known to do, driving boats, etc. into fields, where no tide had ever been heard of before, and most, it is apprehended, having done infinite damage on their wharves at Alexandria, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc. At home all day."
Canton, IL (1975)
A tornado ripped through a 3-block section of downtown, killing 2 people, injuring 75 and creating $5 million damage. A 15-foot wooden plank was driven through an auto engine block, splitting the front of the car in two. The woman driving was not injured. National Guardsmen were called in to prevent looting.