Many areas from the Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic and the Southeast will continue to be hit with torrential downpours and locally severe thunderstorms this week.
There is the potential for some communities to be hit with 1 to 3 inches of rain in a hour or two through Wednesday, where storms repeat. Such rainfall rates can lead to flash and urban flooding.
Repeating, slow moving storms caused flash flooding in parts of Queens, N.Y. during the midday Wednesday, August 1, 2012.
Two people were struck by lightning and injured on the beach at Wildwood, N.J. Wednesday, August 1, 2012.
The best chance of getting drenched is between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. This is when the greatest aerial coverage of the storms will occur. However, a small number storms will erupt prior to this time, while others can survive well after dark.
A very small percentage of the area can also be hit with powerful wind gusts that knock down trees and power lines.
A dry wedge of air that toned down storms in the Northeast Sunday will retreat over the next few days, opening the door for greater coverage of drenching storms into the middle of the week.
Most of the blame on the overall wet and stormy pattern can be placed on a southward dip in steering winds (jet stream) high in the atmosphere. The dip in the jet is centered over the eastern third of the nation.
At the same time the lower layers of the atmosphere in the East are plenty moist in many areas.
Throw in strong sunshine and the warm, moist air explodes upward into the cooler air aloft, leading to towering clouds and drenching and locally gusty thunderstorms.
The higher up into the atmosphere the storms poke, the greater the chance of there being damaging wind gusts near the ground.
Any disturbance that comes along in this moist pattern can help entice such activity, by giving the storms an extra upward boost.
The wet pattern began to evolve over the past couple of weeks, but is really coming into its own this week.
The pattern will continue to chip away at abnormally dry and drought areas in the upper part of the Midwest, the Ohio Valley, East and South. At the same time rain will continue to be stingy to non-existent, moving from the central Plains to the southern Plains and interior Texas.
A gap in the downpours will work from the Midwest Wednesday to the East Thursday. A new round of drenching and locally severe storms is likely to spread slowly from west to east late in the week into the weekend.
Senior Meteorologist Dave Samhuel contributed content to this story.
Some of the warmest weather of the year will continue across Alaska over the next few days, challenging more records.
Join us on Thursday for AccuWeather LIVE, we will discuss the debate of climate change and hurricane frequency and the top five things you need to know about summer weather.
Warmth is forecast to build over much of the eastern half of the nation by July, with Alaska of all places helping out.
A brief synopsis of the top five worst weather events of last summer.
The storms could affect cities from St. Louis to Evansville, Ind., Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio to Huntington, W.Va.
A tornado touched down at Denver International Airport as a severe weather system moved through the area.
Wellesly Hills, MA (1998)
2.35" of rain in 35 minutes.
New England (1875)
Severe coastal storm (a possible hurricane) from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia. Eastport, MA reported 57 mph winds.
Elizabeth City, NC (1991)
2.83" of rain in 2.5 hours.