Damaging storms to target northeastern US Friday evening

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
September 21, 2018, 11:13:00 PM EDT

A round of severe weather will threaten communities across part of the interior Northeast with damaging winds and downpours into Friday evening.

The same system that triggered damaging winds and even a few tornadoes from Wisconsin to Kansas on Thursday will swing eastward.

The eastern Great Lakes, southern Ontario, western New England and part of the Ohio Valley will be at greatest risk for severe thunderstorms, according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Koochel.

Major damage was reported near Donrobin, Ontario, after a possible tornado passed through the area. Another possible tornado touched down near Ottawa. There have been reports of several injuries, but no fatalities, as of Friday evening.

The clash between warm, humid conditions ahead of the system and October-like air in its wake will give the storms a boost in intensity.

Static Severe Friday NE 3 pm

Residents or travelers in and around Burlington, Vermont; Syracuse and Buffalo, New York; Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, will need to be on the lookout for the storms into Friday evening.

Southeastern Ontario and southwest Quebec can also be rattled by the violent weather, including the major metro areas of Toronto and Montreal.

Similar to Thursday’s severe weather event, damaging wind gusts up to 60 mph that can knock over trees and power lines will be the primary mode of severe weather.

Even a moderate wind gust of 40 mph could be enough to cause tree damage after Florence left the ground saturated early this week.

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Downpours that reduce visibility for motorists and frequent lightning will also accompany any of the storms.

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“The overall threat for tornadoes is quite low, but a couple of brief spin-ups cannot be ruled out before the sun sets,” Koochel said.

It only takes a single tornado on a given day to cause complete devastation in a community.

The storms will progress to the east-southeast into the evening hours, but they are expected to fall well short of reaching the major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor.

Sat NE 9.21 AM

A shift to drier and more comfortable conditions will coincide with the official start of fall on Saturday.

Temperatures will be slashed by 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit from Friday to Saturday, topping out in the 60s across the interior and 70s closer to the coast. Parts of the eastern Great Lakes region had their hottest day for so late in the season in many decades with temperatures soaring into the 90s.

While most of the region will be dry this weekend for any baseball and football games or other outdoor activities, part of the mid-Atlantic, generally south of the Mason-Dixon Line (Maryland-Pennsylvania border), could be dampened by rain on Sunday.

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