In a summer dominated by record heat and dry weather, today may feel a bit out of the ordinary for millions of Northeasterners.
Lower temperatures and much-needed rain will persist through tonight from upstate New York through the northern mid-Atlantic, including in Philadelphia, New York and Hartford.
Rainfall of 1 to 2 inches will be possible in some areas, providing some short-term relief to dry ground and low reservoirs.
We would normally call this a dreary day, but with many having grown tired of the heat and lack of rain, it may turn out to be just what the doctor ordered.
A wave of low pressure riding along a slow-moving front will be the catalyst for today's rain, which will come via slow-moving showers and even thunderstorms.
The threat for severe thunderstorms with hail and damaging winds will be confined to the south of the front, from the D.C. and Baltimore area to the Deep South.
While a steadier, soaking rain is expected over the northern tier of Pennsylvania and upstate New York to the New York City metro area, thunderstorms with downpours will enhance the flash flooding risk farther south along the I-95 corridor west to southern Pennsylvania.
Highways as well as low-lying and poor drainage areas will be most susceptible to flooding. Never, ever drive through areas covered by standing or moving water.
Some rain will tend to persist into Saturday, especially across the lower mid-Atlantic, including in Washington and Baltimore.
Unfortunately for those with weekend plans, clouds will linger even longer into early Sunday.
After several days of unseasonable warmth, bitter cold and rounds of snow will continue to spread across the Western and Central states 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.
An abrupt and abnormal cold wave gripped parts of southeastern Texas in early December, catching many off-guard, including two native Southern California bobcats recently transferred to the area.
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.
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Thunderstorms in parts of the South this weekend may become strong enough to threaten lives and property.
Central Illinois (1836)
Famous "Sudden Change" in central Illinois. Cold front at noon caused quick drop from 40 degrees to zero.
Chicago, IL (1960)
12.5" snow, max. 24 hour December snow.
Galena, AK (2001)