The Northeast is bracing for two sets of weather extremes Thursday. On top of dangerous heat and humidity levels expected from Maine to Virginia early in the day, strong to severe storms are forecast just in time for the evening commute.
“Serious winds could come along with these storms on Thursday afternoon,” said FOX Weather meteorologist Amy Freeze. “You’re looking at a Level 2 threat there from D.C. all the way up into Boston, where we’re looking at strong thunderstorms with potent winds above 60 mph.”
A warm front will cross the Northeast Thursday, funneling the heat and humidity into the Eastern Seaboard and fueling the afternoon storms. The biggest threat with any severe storms that develop will be damaging winds reaching gusts of at least 60 mph.
Nearly every major city from the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast is in the zone for flooding rains, strong winds and hail. Richmond, Virginia; Washington; Philadelphia; New York; Hartford, Connecticut; Boston, Portland, Maine; and even Albany, New York, are on notice for brutal afternoon drives on interstates 90 and 95.
A tornado is possible mainly in Southern New England, including Boston, but a small risk extends south into New York City.
Triple-digit heat index accompanies severe weather threat in Northeast
This one-two punch of extreme weather could prove even more dangerous if storms knock out the power to air conditioners and fans amid near triple-digit temperatures. That would leave residents sweltering without even much relief after the sun goes down.
Excessive Heat Warnings cover a large area of New Jersey and into New York City and Philadelphia into Friday evening, with highs in the upper 90s combining with stifling humidity to push “feels like” temperatures up past 105 degrees, even as high as 106 in New York and 108 around Philadelphia.
Storms will move off the coast Thursday evening, but the Northeast will remain warm, muggy and unsettled through Saturday. Storms will not be as strong or widespread Friday and Saturday.
Northeast already hit hard by severe storms this week
Severe weather already pounded the mid-Atlantic and Northeast this week.
According to the National Weather Service, a microburst was to blame for 70-mph winds Tuesday that downed trees and caused other damage in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
A funnel cloud was spotted swirling above the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday after a powerful line of storms swept through Washington.
Earlier this month, historic flooding in Vermont led to at least one death and catastrophic damage in several places.