Skip to content

Severe Weather To Threaten Areas From New York City To Charlotte

Risk of strong thunderstorms will move to places east of the Appalachians after two days of severe weather and deadly tornadoes.

Following two days of severe weather and tornadoes that turned deadly in the central United States, the risk of powerful thunderstorms will shift to areas east of the Appalachians, stretching from southeastern New York to the Carolinas on Thursday, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.

Even though the threat of tornadoes will be much lower on Thursday in the East compared to prior days in the Midwest, the storms will still pack a punch, posing some threat to lives and property in the region and likely hindering outdoor plans. Significant travel disruptions are also anticipated.

“Just enough warm air and moisture will be present ahead of an advancing cold front to trigger heavy, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Alyssa Smithmyer said. “The main threats from the storms on Thursday will be from wind and hail.”

Some locally severe storms will arrive in the central and southern Appalachians Wednesday night. Some locations can experience vivid lightning, thunder and damaging wind gusts from central New York and western and central Pennsylvania to West Virginia, western Virginia, the eastern parts of Kentucky and Tennessee and western North Carolina.

As temperatures climb on Thursday and the cold front lifts the warm, moist air over the region, some ongoing thunderstorms will regain intensity. New thunderstorms will also erupt from southeastern New York to the central and western portions of North and South Carolina.

“Thunderstorms are expected to erupt and re-strengthen along the Interstate 81 corridor from Pennsylvania to Virginia during Thursday afternoon before reaching the I-95 corridor late in the afternoon and early evening at peak intensity,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

Some of the major metro areas in the mid-Atlantic that could experience severe weather on Thursday include part of New York City and all of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Farther south, Richmond, Virginia, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as Greenville and Columbia, South Carolina, will be in the path of severe storms.

Major metro regions in the mid-Atlantic that may experience severe weather on Thursday include all of Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and half of New York City. ACCUWEATHER

“There is the potential for localized wind damage and power outages due to falling trees and crashing large tree limbs caused by the storms,” Anderson said.

Wind gusts between 40 and 50 mph will be common in thunderstorms. However, the strongest storms will bring gusts between 50 and 60 mph, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ gust of 70 mph possible.

“Rainfall will be intense during any storm, which will lead to poor visibility and ponding on area streets and highways for motorists,” Anderson said.

Severe weather is no longer expected in Augusta, Georgia, where the first round of the 2023 Masters Tournament is scheduled, according to AccuWeather forecasters. However, spectators and golfers may be at risk of lightning strikes and the effects of sudden wind gusts and bursts of heavy rain.

Airline passengers should expect flight delays and cancellations as storms approach and pass through regional and major airport hubs. Officials may issue ground stops at some locations, preventing aircraft from leaving an airport directly within the path of the storms or if a flight is scheduled to a location that may be hit with severe weather.

At major travel hubs along the I-95 corridor in the mid-Atlantic and parts of the Southeast, more flight delays are likely to happen in the late afternoon and early evening. ACCUWEATHER

More flight disruptions are likely to occur in the late-afternoon and early-evening hours in major travel hubs along the I-95 corridor in the mid-Atlantic and parts of the Southeast.

On Friday, a push of cooler and drier air will end the severe weather threat in the mid-Atlantic region.

Farther to the south, the front triggering the stormy weather will stall in a zone where copious amounts of moisture will continue flowing. Repeated rounds of heavy rain will raise the risk of flash, urban and small stream flooding from Texas to the Carolinas into this weekend.

It has been an incredibly active start to the severe weather season thus far in 2023, with 422 preliminary tornado reports through the first few days of April.

This graphic shows the location of preliminary tornado reports as of Wednesday morning, April 5, 2023. STORM PREDICTION CENTER

On Saturday, April 1, an EF3 tornado with winds estimated to be near 140 mph ripped through Greenwood, Delaware. The storm resulted in the first tornado fatality in the state in 40 years. The last deadly tornado was on July 21, 1983, in Kent County, Delaware.

Other tornadoes were reported in the mid-Atlantic region on April 1 in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Produced in association with AccuWeather

Recommended from our partners