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.
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Remnants of thunderstorms on the High Plains from Wednesday will re-fire farther east over the Mississippi Valley Thursday into Thursday night.
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A cold storm will bring rain and snow to California Friday and Saturday, but heat returns again next week.
Following a cooldown at midweek for Cleveland, temperatures will remain below normal through the weekend.
Fairbanks, AK (1991)
Still two feet of snow covering the ground.
Fort Wayne, IN (1996)
58 mph wind gust.
Amarillo, TX (1997)
6.4" of snow.