An unusually strong low pressure for this time of year will spark powerful storms across much of the East into Friday night.
Storms have already produced torrential downpours this morning across much of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia. More of the same is on the way as well as the potential for damaging wind, hail and a couple of tornadoes.
Cities targeted include New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Harrisburg, Allentown, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Raleigh and Columbia.
The most potent storms will explode this afternoon as the low pressure heads toward the area and strengthens, feeding off of tropical-like humidity.
Damaging blasts of wind, hail larger than quarters, and drenching downpours are all possible as rounds of slow-moving storms track east.
According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margustiy, "An upper level disturbance lifting northward across Long Island and into central and eastern New England has the potential to produce a couple of tornadoes during the afternoon and early evening."
Blinding rain from time to time will cause plenty of travel headaches for motorists on major interstates. I-95, I-81, and I-80 are all in the crosshairs. Conditions will be just as bad on the New York Thruway and the Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania turnpikes.
If you'll be traveling to or from area airports into Friday night, don't expect anything better, as locally severe storms threaten to cause plenty of flight delays.
Be alert for rapidly changing weather conditions and heed any watches or warnings that may be issued. Remember, if a warning is issued, this means a dangerous thunderstorm is imminent and you should take shelter immediately.
Be sure to stay with us at AccuWeather.com for all the latest details on this impending severe weather event.
Joaquin continues its journey across the northern Atlantic toward Europe, where it is expected to impact Spain and Portugal this weekend.
Winter will kick off with mild weather in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic as an intensifying El Nino influences the weather pattern across the country.
A fall-like weekend is in store for the Northeast, after rain and thunderstorms will dampen the region on Friday.
Another round of rain is expected to move through the Carolinas on Saturday, which may lead to rises on some small streams and creeks.
Oho will hit parts of British Columbia and Alaska with drenching rain, gusty winds and pounding seas before the week comes to an end.
The East (1988)
Big early season chill Philadelphia 35 (tied record) Atlantic City 30 Newark, NJ 35 Bridgeport, CT 31 Hartford, CT 28
Binghamton, NY (2000)
1" of snow - the earliest date on record an inch or more of snow has fallen.
San Antonio, TX (2000)
A high temperature of 45 degrees (the average high on this date is 84 degrees).