Scattered severe thunderstorms are pummeling parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast Wednesday afternoon, including much of the major I-95 corridor cities of New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., bringing heavy rains, strong winds, frequent lighting and even a sighting of a funnel over the Washington Capitol.
Some of the severe thunderstorms could bring wind gusts of 60-70 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
On Tuesday afternoon, a funnel was spotted above the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The funnel did not pose any risk to the area.
“That is not a tornadic situation,” said FOX Weather meteorologist Jordan Overton. “It doesn’t mean there was a tornado. It just means you get kind of spinning, some shear in the atmosphere that are usually kind of really skinny, and they’ll be kind of dark in color. They look really scary, but they’re not actually tornadic.”
In New York City, a flash flood warning was issued for a portion of Wednesday afternoon. Heavy rain was seen pouring into the subway, as captured in this video shot at the New Utrecht Ave station in Brooklyn.
Also in Brooklyn, a large shelf cloud was seen moving through the area.
People reported strong winds and trees down after the storm moved through.
Storm damage was reported across the Northeast.
According to the National Weather Service, powerful wind brought down wires and trees across parts of New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.
For some drivers, the rain resulted in minor flooding.
Where the storms are heading next
While it had been a quiet morning across the region, a weak trough of low pressure was swinging through Tuesday afternoon, tapping into warm, moist air in place and setting the stage for the development of scattered strong to severe thunderstorms in the evening.
Already a handful of Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have been issued early Tuesday afternoon, including one in the Washington area, with storms still developing in intensity and coverage.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 8 p.m. for Americans in Washington D.C., along with parts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, the New York City area, and Connecticut.
Damaging wind gusts of at least 70 mph and ping-pong-sized hail are possible, along with heavy rains and frequent lightning, along with the potential for flash flooding amid the wettest thunderstorms.
Luckily, the tornado threat is minimal.
NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has put much of the Watch area in a Level 2 out of 5 on their severe weather risk scale, including the I-95 corridor stretching from Washington, D.C. through Philadelphia, and New Jersey and into New York and Connecticut.
Farther north along I-95, Boston and into Portland, Maine is under a Level 1 severe weather risk, where scattered strong thunderstorms are possible that may include a few isolated storms that reach severe criteria. A level 1 risk also extends south from the watch box to cover Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia.
A level 1 threat of severe weather expands farther north up the rest of the I-95 corridor, including Philadelphia, New York and Boston, where scattered strong thunderstorms are possible that may include a few isolated storms that reach severe criteria.
Then comes the heat that will feel like triple digits
Once the storms pass offshore Tuesday night, attention turns to a budding heat wave in the Northeast for the rest of the week, which may add another threat if any power outages from Tuesday’s storms linger and air conditioning is lost.
High temperatures on Wednesday will push into the low 90s, then climb into the mid-upper 90s on Thursday that, combined with high humidity, will push the “feels-like” temperatures well past 100 across the region.
It will remain hot and humid through Saturday, with high temperatures pushing well into the 90s, even nudging close to 100, with heat index readings pushing 110 degrees.
Cooling relief is forecast for Sunday and Monday as high temperatures drop back into the 80s.