Severe storms to threaten millions in northeastern US at midweek
By Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather meteorologist
September 27, 2018, 3:19:29 AM EDT
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Summerlike warmth and humidity surging back into the Ohio Valley and Northeast will set the stage for a severe weather event at midweek.
A rapidly intensifying storm system tracking from the western Great Lakes region to eastern Canada spanning into Wednesday will be responsible for triggering the violent storms.
Unseasonably cold and even winterlike air behind the storm system will clash with the moist, muggy air in place across the eastern half of the nation. This collision of seasons provides the fuel needed to spark widespread, destructive storms.
The severe weather first swept through part of the Midwest, including the Chicagoland area, on Tuesday.
“Into Wednesday evening, severe thunderstorms will be possible from Montreal, Canada, down through Syracuse, New York, with severe weather approaching the I-95 corridor,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.
The main threats from Wednesday’s storms will be flooding downpours and damaging winds. However, a couple of isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled-out.
Motorists traveling home and heading to the north and west from Washington, D.C., to New York City may face rapid reductions in roadway visibility over only a few hundred feet.
Large portions of interstates 80, 81 and 90, as well as secondary roads, may be impacted by poor drainage area flooding.
Because the midweek storms will threaten over 100,000 square miles of land in the most populous region of the nation, over 60 million residents will need to monitor and heed the latest severe weather watches and warnings to minimize the risk of injury or even death.
"The greatest risk to lives and property may come from the potential for falling trees, due to the saturated state of the ground," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
"The trees have drawn up a great deal of water, but the ground remains saturated. The trees are literally top heavy now, so any moderate gust of wind can knock them over."
Motorists and pedestrians need to be especially wary in wooded areas. Never stand or park beneath trees in this situation.
Standing outside also greatly increases the risk of being struck by lightning. As soon as lightning is seen or thunder is heard, move indoors immediately.
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Check the AccuWeather Severe Weather Center for the latest watches and warnings
If engaging in an outdoor pastime such as hiking, biking or fishing, do not wander too far from an enclosed shelter or vehicle since the storms are forecast to be moving at upwards of 40-50 mph, giving people little time to seek shelter.
Have a backup generator handy, if possible, to eliminate the risk of spoiled food in the case of a prolonged power outage.
“The front will move offshore by late Wednesday night, ending the risk of severe weather,” said Adamson.
Fortunately, pleasant air and sunshine should return to the Northeast to end the week, so the weather should cooperate for any recovery or cleanup efforts following the storms.
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