By Jordan Root
Warm and humid air in place over much of the Northeast at midweek will contribute to the risk of drenching, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
Storms are forecast to erupt and turn heavy, gusty and locally severe on Wednesday from the Ohio Valley to the eastern Great Lakes, central Appalachians and northern New England. The storms will then proceed to the south and east toward the I-95 corridor Wednesday evening.
The storms will bring the potential for sporadic power outages but travel delays could become widespread.
“The strongest storms could bring wind gusts up to 60 mph and heavy rain that could lead to flooding,” said AccuWeather Senior Storm Meteorologist Kate Danna.
One or more lines of storms will begin to develop during the early afternoon and will continue to strengthen into the evening as they move along.
Cities that could be affected Wednesday afternoon include Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Scranton, Pennsylvania; Syracuse, Albany, Binghamton, and New York City, New York; Burlington and Rutland, Vermont; Manchester and Keene, New Hampshire; and Portland and Bangor, Maine.
Thunderstorms will survive the trip to the I-95 Northeast corridor Wednesday night but will roll through the northern and western suburbs during the late afternoon and early evening hours.
According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, “Cities along I-95 in the Northeast that could have some neighborhoods hit by locally damaging winds, urban flooding and frequent lightning strikes during the first part of Wednesday night include Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.”
An advancing push of cool air over the Midwest will provide the lift needed to get the storms going and move them along.
Dew points, a measure of moisture in the atmosphere, will climb to around 70 for many locations into Wednesday. This will be a noticeable difference from the 50s that were around a few days ago. The high dew point air will help to fuel the intensity of the storms and increase the risk of torrential rainfall.
The threat for strong storms will shift to the southeast for Thursday. Southern Virginia through the Carolinas will be at the greatest risk while much of the I-95 corridor misses out on the strongest storms.
Although the cold front will bring strong storms, it will also usher in another shot of cool and pleasant air for the end of the week and into the weekend across the Great Lakes and Northeast.
Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed content to this story.