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Pennsylvania, New Jersey to Carolinas at risk for damaging thunderstorms into Friday evening

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 26, 2019, 7:46:24 PM EDT

A quick-hitting round of thunderstorms has the potential to put lives, property and timely travel at risk from South Carolina to New Jersey and Pennsylvania into Friday evening.

The storms will be centered on the Interstate 95 corridor but will also extend as far west as portions of I-81 in Maryland and Pennsylvania and to the barrier islands from North Carolina to New Jersey.

The risk includes some major metropolitan areas, such as Philadelphia; Trenton and Atlantic City, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

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There is also the likelihood of locally heavy, gusty thunderstorms farther north in New Jersey, southeastern New York state, including the New York City area, and parts of central and southern New England.

Gusty to locally severe thunderstorms with flooding downpours are also likely farther south across a portion of the Florida Peninsula.

While a tornado outbreak is not anticipated, there is the potential for a few brief tornadoes to be spawned in the strongest thunderstorms. All it takes is one tornado to strike a heavily populated area to cause great risk to lives and property.

Strong wind gusts, frequent lightning strikes, blinding downpours and urban flooding will be more common threats from the storms. A few neighborhoods may also be hit with hail.

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People spending time outdoors or on the road should keep alert for rapidly changing weather conditions.

Move indoors, away from windows, at the first rumble of thunder.

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Motorists may encounter sudden, blinding downpours and excess water on the roads.

Airline passengers can expect delays as the line of intense rainfall and gusty thunderstorms approaches and passes over airport locations.

The severe weather threat will end rapidly as cooler air sweeps in from west to east across the mid-Atlantic during the afternoon and early evening hours.

However, it is during the evening when the risk will be highest for the blinding downpours and gusty winds in southeastern New York state and New England. An isolated, brief tornado cannot be ruled out.

Download the free AccuWeather app for the minute-by-minute forecast for your area. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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