Heavy Storms to Rim Heat From Ohio to Virginia

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
August 28, 2013; 1:15 PM ET
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As a major heat wave blazes much of the central United States through the Labor Day weekend, rounds of storms will rim the heat from the Great Lakes to the Northeast and neighboring Canada.

While most of the storms will not be severe with sporadic rainfall and a mere breeze, a small number of storms can be nasty with damaging wind gusts, hail and frequent lightning strikes.

Even if the storms do not turn severe, torrential rainfall can affect a small number of locations. Flash and urban flooding can occur where downpours repeat.

Poplar, Wis., received 6 inches of rain as of Tuesday morning, and flooding forced roadways to close in Okemos, Mich. At Williamsburg, Mich., during Tuesday afternoon, 1.16 inches of rain fell in an hour. Later, Tuesday evening, Cadillac, Mich., experienced flash flooding which covered roads downtown in water, and 3.1 inches of rain fell in 3 hours near Marion, Mich.

A few communities can be hit hard by the storms with power outages. The showers and storms were not limited to the afternoon and evening hours, as plenty of heavy rain fell across southern Michigan into the morning hours on Wednesday.

People should be prepared for sporadic travel delays at the airports and on the highways.

Cities that can experience storms on more than one occasion this week include: Green Bay, Wis.; Detroit; London and Toronto, Ontario; Buffalo and Albany, N.Y.; Burlington, Vt.; Portland, Maine; Hartford, Conn.; Pittsburgh, Scranton and Harrisburg, Pa.; and Baltimore.

While the weather pattern has its risks, even in the rainiest spots, it will rain much less than 25 percent of the time through the Labor Day weekend. Most outdoor activities can carry on with few interruptions.

North Central US Radar
Severe Weather Watches and Warnings
Millions Impacted by Intense Summer Heat

The heat wave will continue most days over the northern and central Plains to the Ohio Valley with daytime highs well into the 90s. A few spots will even hit 100 degrees.

Over portions of the northern Plains to the Upper Midwest, the intense heat will add to the strength of the storms.

The rounds of storms and a northwesterly flow aloft will keep the heat at bay from the upper and eastern Great Lakes to New England and much of the mid-Atlantic. As a result, persistent hot weather is not likely north and east of the Virginias through this week.

Highs from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to much of New York state, New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware are likely to average in the 80s most days. A few locations farther north will peak in the 70s, and some locations over Virginia and West Virginia will have some highs near 90.

There is a chance of some of the very hot air riding northeastward next week, but only as long as a current dip in steering-level winds lifts northward. At this time, there are equal chances that cooler air will sag southward next week.

As a result, temperature forecasts for the first full week of September are likely to change.


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