A warm front lifting northward across the Northeast on Wednesday will act as a gateway to warm and humid weather, but not before a few rounds of powerful thunderstorms roll through the region.
The worst of the weather will be found in places such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Scranton, Allentown, New York City, Hartford, Providence, Worcester and Boston, to name a few.
Hail as large as quarters or even golf balls and damaging thunderstorm wind gusts to 60 or 70 mph are the biggest threats, but an isolated tornado is not out of the question.
Hail the size of quarters can cause minor damage to vehicles and it could cause injury to exposed people or animals. Golf ball-sized hail is capable of more significant damage. It can crack windshields, dent vehicles, damage crops or gardens and cause severe injury to people or animals caught outside.
Wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph can snap off large tree branches, uproot trees and blow down power poles. Spotty power outages are also possible.
As warm southerly winds push into stubborn northeasterly winds lingering across parts of New York state and New england, a twisting motion of the lower atmosphere will exist, leading to the potential for isolated tornadoes.
Though tornadoes are fairly rare in the Northeast, this is not expected to be a major tornado outbreak by any stretch of the imagination. Especially compared to the central Plains.
If you will be out and about this afternoon and evening, keep an eye to the sky, keep an eye on radar on your smart phone and pay attention to weather bulletins.
Once thunderstorms develop, they will strengthen quickly, and severe weather could follow soon after.
Be sure to understand the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that an area is being monitored for dangerous weather. A warning means that dangerous weather is imminent.
Keep in mind that lightning is one of Mother Nature's most dangerous killers. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, even if the sun is still shining.