The Northeast is bracing for weather extremes Thursday.
On top of the heat and humidity 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. “So by tomorrow, 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 miles an hour.”
A warm front will cross the Northeast, funneling the heat and humidity into the Eastern Seaboard, which will fuel the afternoon storms.
The biggest threat with any severe storms that develop will be damaging winds – up to 60-mph gusts.
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.
This one-two punch of extreme weather could prove even more dangerous if storms knock out the power to air conditioners and fans.
That would leave residents sweltering without even much relief after the sun goes down.
Storms will move off the coast Wednesday 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
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 US 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.