Severe Threat Targets Philly, DC and NYC Areas Thursday

By Brian Thompson, Meteorologist
May 22, 2014; 10:58 PM ET
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Early holiday travelers may encounter severe thunderstorms in several parts of the country, including the Northeast, Tennessee and a portion of the High Plains.

New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, and Nashville, are some of the metro areas that could have heavy, gusty and locally severe storms into Thursday evening.

While a widespread severe weather outbreak is not anticipated, any thunderstorm that develops could produce flooding downpours, hail and damaging wind gusts.

According to Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "The risk for strong, gusty storms with hail extends well to the north across eastern upstate New York and into portions of Vermont, western Massachusetts and western Connecticut and also to the south into much of eastern Virginia and portions of North Carolina."

Travelers should be alert for rapidly changing weather conditions, poor visibility and excess water on roadways during the heavier storms. Flight delays are also a possibility.

If thunderstorms track over the same area for a prolonged period of time, flash flooding will be a concern as well.

"A couple of the strongest storms could produce a tornado," Sosnowski said.

Farther west, thunderstorms will likely turn severe once again across the High Plains into Thursday night, following damaging storms on Wednesday.

There were several reports of tornadoes and large hail in the Denver metro area Wednesday afternoon, which led to flight delays and cancellations at Denver International Airport.

Denver could be in the path of severe storms again. Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas, also could be impacted by these storms late Thursday.

Storms that roll through into Thursday evening could contain large hail and even damaging wind gusts. The threat for tornadoes, though, will be lower than Wednesday.

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While the hail and wind can cause damage, rainfall from these storms is welcome news in western Kansas as well as the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, where an extreme drought continues. Showers and thunderstorms will continue to bring additional rainfall to these areas into the Memorial Day weekend.

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