More than 80 million in eastern US at risk for severe weather
Dangerous thunderstorms packing flash flooding and high winds will stretch from New York to Georgia into Monday night, AccuWeather forecasters say.
Severe thunderstorms, many packing high winds, will target more than 80 million people in the eastern United States into Monday night, AccuWeather meteorologists warn. The storms will pose a significant risk to lives and property and cause significant travel disruptions.
Thunderstorms already producing localized torrential downpours and incidents of damaging winds in the Appalachians and points to the west into the early afternoon hours. Showers and thunderstorms arrived early after hitting the Midwest on Sunday.
The storms are increasing in intensity as they continue to move eastward late Monday afternoon.
"Thunderstorms will continue to build with the most intense weather conditions likely through 9 p.m," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologists Alex Sosnowski said. The storms may take until the late evening hours to fully unwind.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued a moderate risk outlook for the threat of Monday's storms across parts of the mid-Atlantic, including Baltimore and Washington, D.C. A population of 13.2 million is under that level of risk, which is the second-highest level just below SPC's high risk.
It has been at least five years since the SPC issued a moderate risk for severe weather in most of the Northeast, with the exception of south-central Virginia, which had one in 2019.
Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Atlanta among cities at risk on Monday
The atmospheric setup will be ripe for a rather broad zone to have the potential for severe weather well into Monday evening as an intensifying storm system shifts from the Midwest into the Northeast, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist La Troy Thornton.
"Robust southwesterly winds will transport abundant moisture up the Eastern Seaboard, providing the potential for a washout in some interior sections of the Northeast as thunderstorms produce impressive downpours," Thornton said.
AccuWeather forecasters are warning of a high risk of severe thunderstorms from eastern Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and a moderate risk spanning a zone from near Buffalo, New York, to Atlanta into Monday night.
"In terms of severe weather, all hazards will be in play as the atmosphere should have no shortage of available energy to work with," Thornton said.
Motorists with travel plans along stretches of interstates 40, 64, 70, 75, 80 and 81 may face slower travel at times as downpours reduce visibility and create a heightened risk of hydroplaning.
Along with torrential downpours and the risk of ponding on the streets and highways and quick rises on some small streams, the primary threat for severe weather will be due to powerful wind gusts of 60-70 mph, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 80 mph in the strongest storms. Wind gusts in some of the storms will be strong enough to bring down trees and power lines and can lead to minor property damage.
A few of the most potent storms will have the potential to produce hail and a tornado.
Some of the major metro areas in the Northeast at risk for dangerous, damaging and disruptive thunderstorms include Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City. Meanwhile, the storms will pack a punch in the Southeast as well with Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta at risk for severe weather.
"As the storms approach the airports in the East, ground stops are likely and flight delays will increase substantially across the nation," Sosnowski said. "Travel on area highways may be reduced to a crawl as downpours hit and water collects in poor drainage areas."
Severe weather to reach New England on Tuesday
Although the threat level of severe weather will be less in New England, the risk of flash flooding could return to hard-hit portions of the area as a batch of rain and thunderstorms moves through during the early part of the week.
Locally drenching and gusty thunderstorms will pivot northeastward into Monday night. However, the main risk of severe weather in the region will come on Tuesday.
From Tuesday to Tuesday night, thunderstorms, some capable of producing severe weather, will spread across Connecticut to southwestern Maine. Thunderstorms that rumble across New England can bring flooding downpours, localized damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes to locations like Boston, Providence, Rhode Island, and Portland, Maine.
Thornton noted that even areas that have not been hit by heavy rain recently could experience localized flooding, especially where thunderstorms repeat over the same location.
A general 1-2 inches of rain is likely to fall on central and northern New England into Tuesday evening. But, with local amounts to 4 inches possible, on top of the 1-2 feet of rain that fell earlier this summer, some small streams may again rise out of their banks, Sosnowski added. Only recent dry weather from last week may prevent a widespread flooding event.
Severe storms to target zone from Georgia to Louisiana on Tuesday
Severe thunderstorms will also dip into more of the Southern states on Tuesday.
The risk of severe weather will extend from the northern part of Louisiana to Georgia and parts of South Carolina and northern Florida.
A moderate risk of severe weather encompasses much of southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama.
Rounds of storms to keep high heat away this week
"The pattern this week will feature frequent showers and thunderstorms, typically every other day or so, across much of the East," Sosnowski said. "Even though it may not rain as much or as often as it did in July, conditions may again pose daily challenges for outdoor plans and travel."
Although the week will not be a complete washout, forecasters say the rounds of clouds, showers and thunderstorms will help to keep temperatures in check.
So far in August, temperatures have been 3-6 degrees Fahrenheit below the historical average from Washington, D.C., to Boston. AccuWeather's Long-Range team says that some of the warmest days of the summer may be yet to come, however.
"Heat can build during the middle to late part of August in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic as many kids return to school. This can be accompanied by high humidity and a risk for thunderstorm activity," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.
Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather Alerts™ are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.Report a Typo
Top StoriesMore Stories