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Severe storms to accompany uptick in heat, humidity across northeastern US

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 5/22/2019 renee.duff

Isolated tornadoes are among the dangers as a surge of heat and humidity helps to fuel severe thunderstorms in the northeastern United States on Thursday.

After a refreshing break from steamy air at midweek, more humid air will be ushered back into the region by Thursday.

A cluster of locally heavy showers and thunderstorms set to sweep from the upper Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians and upper mid-Atlantic coast into Thursday morning will mark the arrival of this warmer weather.

High temperatures will return to the upper 70s to middle 80s on Thursday across upstate New York and the mid-Atlantic, which will add fuel to a new round of storms set to ignite later in the day.

"Strong to severe storms will break out Thursday afternoon across western Pennsylvania and New York before spreading to the southeast into Thursday evening," AccuWeather Meteorologist Alyson Hoegg said. Severe thunderstorms will also erupt across the upper Ohio Valley late Thursday.

a close up of a map: NE storms new May 22 © Provided by Accuweather, Inc NE storms new May 22

"Some of these storms may produce flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas," she added.

This is especially true for areas that were pummeled with rounds of severe storms on Sunday.

AccuWeather meteorologists are also concerned that the storms can produce hail and damaging winds.

Trees with a weakened root structure from recent rainfall will be more susceptible to being downed by thunderstorm winds, even if gusts are below 58 mph -- the lowest wind gust for a storm to be considered severe.

"There can also be an isolated tornado," Hoegg said.

The storms may lead to times of reduced visibility along sections of interstates 70, 79, 80, 81, 83, 90 and 95 at a time when many people may be getting a jump start on holiday travel.

"Everyone starting their holiday weekend early should keep an eye to the sky as these storms could lead to slower travel and delays at airports," Hoegg said.

Cities potentially impacted by these storms during Thursday afternoon include Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Scranton, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton, New York.

The storms may still pack a punch in terms of rain and gusty winds as they reach the Interstate 95 corridor from Trenton, New Jersey, to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., during Thursday evening.

The passage of the storms will help to whisk away the brief uptick in humidity, with more comfortable conditions arriving on Friday.

Outside of northern New England where wet weather can linger, Friday will provide great weather for Memorial Day travelers across the Northeast with dry, sunny weather expected.

This should not get people's hopes up of a completely dry holiday weekend, however, as storms are expected to roll through occasionally from Saturday to Memorial Day.

Download the free AccuWeather app to keep up to date on the latest forecast heading into Memorial Day. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


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