Severe storms will threaten the eastern mid-Atlantic with flash flooding and damaging winds into Tuesday evening.
A strengthening storm system will make for a wet, wild and windy day along the Eastern Seaboard today, with the highly populated I-95 mid-Atlantic corridor expected to become ground zero for some powerful thunderstorms.
Outside of the threat for severe storms, flooding downpours and strong winds could also snarl air and ground travel for a time, unfortunately coinciding with the busy evening rush in many areas.
"The storms are likely to organize within or ahead of a broad zone of heavy rain extending across the Appalachians," says AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "The rain would also advance to the I-95 corridor in the Northeast and can lead to major travel problems for a time."
Sosnowski has more on the threat for flooding through tonight from locally more than 4 inches of rain across the Appalachians and interior New England.
Severe Storm, Isolated Tornado Threat
Areas from the Carolinas north through Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, the eastern half of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southeastern New York and southern New England will need to be alert beginning this afternoon for thunderstorms containing damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, hail and even tornadoes.
Among the cities at risk for damaging storms are Raleigh, N.C.; Norfolk and Richmond, Va.; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore and Salisbury, Md.; Dover and Wilmington, Del.; Allentown, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Scranton, Pa.; Atlantic City and Newark, N.J.; Albany, Binghamton and New York, N.Y.; Hartford, Conn.; Providence, R.I., and Boston, Mass.
The most widespread violent weather may hold off until after the evening rush hour along the immediate I-95 corridor.
According to Meteorologist Steve Travis, "We have already seen a few incidents of strong wind gusts and weak rotation even without thunder and lightning during the midday Tuesday."
Shower and thunderstorm winds in some areas will be strong enough to topple trees and power lines, and at the very least will greatly reduce visibility for motorists.
Eastern portions of North Carolina and Virginia have the greatest risk for tornadoes into this evening. With an enhanced threat for tornadoes, it is crucial that you know what to do and where to go at your home or work in the event a tornado warning is issued.
Strong Wind Gusts
Even well in advance of the thunderstorms, south to southeast winds over the coastal mid-Atlantic and New England will be strong enough to cause some minor damage as low pressure rapidly strengthens to the west.
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Dry and sunny conditions will continue in San Francisco for the the official start to winter and the Christmas holiday.
Sunshine will return in full force for the weekend, the official start to winter, and Christmas in Los Angeles.
Big changes are on the way for parts of the Western and Central states late this week and into this weekend.
Similar to the days prior to Thanksgiving, the worst weather will focus on the days prior to Christmas as millions of travelers take to the roads and skies in the U.S. and southern Canada.
Warm air is forecast to surge into much of the eastern half of the nation by the weekend and will be accompanied by heavy rain and flooding risk in some locations.
Thunderstorms in parts of the South this weekend may become strong enough to threaten lives and property.
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