The same storm destined to bring a major outbreak of severe weather and damaging winds to the central United States on Friday will be no slouch in the East on Saturday. AccuWeather meteorologists warn that high winds, severe thunderstorms and downpours can make outdoor plans challenging, if not dangerous, as well as potentially cause power outages throughout the region.
“April will start on a soggy note in the Northeast, as a windswept rain impacts outdoor activities early on Saturday along the Interstate 95 corridor,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger said.
“With this storm tracking farther north than recent ones, the rain-snow line will shift up into Canada during the height of the storm,” Deger said.
As the storm pivots across southern Canada on Saturday, its circulation will remain strong enough to cause a trailing cold front to race eastward from the Appalachians to the Atlantic coast.
“During the midday and early-afternoon hours, showers and even locally severe thunderstorms can roll through ahead of a cold front along the I-95 zone from Richmond, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City,” Deger said.
The risk of severe thunderstorms will extend from New York state and southwestern New England to as far south as Georgia and northern Florida on Saturday. As the storms approach regional and major airport hubs, ground stops are likely to be issued until the threat has passed.
Normally, very strong winds remain high above the ground during most storm systems. But, in this case, the strong winds will be much closer to ground level and will be noticeable in the form of powerful gusts, especially in the Northeast.
Widespread wind gusts between 50 and 60 mph are in store, but a zone where gusts could reach 60 to 70 mph is likely from Ohio to West Virginia and large portions of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. AccuWeather Local StormMax™ wind gusts of 90 mph are possible in this zone. For comparison, a Category 1 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 74-95 mph.
At this strength, trees can be knocked over, and large branches may crash down. As a result, forecasters say numerous power outages are possible.
Saturday is the first day of trout season in Pennsylvania, and tens of thousands of anglers will take to area streams. The strong winds may be more than a nuisance. In wooded areas, there will be a risk of falling tree limbs.
Runners in the Charlottesville, Virginia, marathon may face challenges from the fast-moving showers and thunderstorms early on and gusty winds throughout the day.
For the first pitch of Major League Baseball games in the Bronx and Washington, D.C., late Saturday afternoon, thunderstorms will have likely moved through already. However, gusty winds are in store from the southwest, west and northwest. Temperatures are likely to fall sharply into the 50s F during both games after midday highs in the 70s F. Rain and thunderstorms will be in the vicinity of Fenway Park for the start of the scheduled game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles.
As colder air races in behind the front on Saturday, rain showers will change to snow showers during the afternoon and evening from northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania to western and northern New York and northwestern New England. A few inches of snow could pile up in isolated locations, mainly in western and northern New York where lake-effect bands set up for a time.
Sunday will be the nicer of the two weekend days by far, with at least partial sunshine in store for most locations. The day is likely to start off windy in the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic regions, and much of the day may be blustery in upstate New York and New England.
Runners in the Queens Marathon in New York City will experience northwest winds and temperatures that rise slowly through the 40s. AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures are forecast to settle in the 20s and 30s for a time.
Warmth will build across much of the region early next week as a major storm with blizzard conditions and severe weather eyes the Central states.
Produced in association with AccuWeather