Several rounds of thunderstorms will develop around the nation Thursday into Thursday night, bringing the risk of hail, damaging winds, flooding and perhaps a tornado.
Although a stray thunderstorm can form almost anywhere east of the Mississippi River, there will be several pockets of more widespread, sustained activity from the Plains into the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast.
Gusty Storms and Drenching Downpours in the Northeast
The first pocket of widespread strong to severe thunderstorms will be found across the Northeast northern mid-Atlantic.
Some of the bigger cities and towns at risk include New York City, Philadelphia, Richmond, Scranton, Allentown, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Wind gusts to 60 mph, hail as large as quarters and even perhaps an isolated weak tornado are all possible.
Very heavy rainfall is also a possibility across the region. Some areas have already had excessive rainfall this spring and summer and with 1-2 inches possible in some spots, flash flooding of urban locations and areas of very poor drainage is likely.
Gusty Storms Invade the Southeast
Another pocket of more organized and widespread severe storms will be found across the Southeast from the Carolinas into Georgia and Alabama.
Locations most at risk include Raleigh, Charlottesville, Atlanta, Macon and Montgomery.
Gusty winds of 50-60 mph and hail as large as quarters are the biggest threats across the area, though drenching downpours could cause some localized flash flooding as well.
Another Round of Storms From Chicago to Indianapolis
A few showers and storms around in the morning will diminish by noon, but another round of widespread showers and thunderstorms will roll through the region later Thursday afternoon and into the evening.
Cities most at risk include Wausau, Green Bay, Madison, Chicago and Indianapolis.
Hail as large as quarters and damaging wind gusts as high as 60 mph are the biggest threats.
Given the amount of rain that has fallen across the region this spring and summer, any additional heavy rainfall will likely result in flooding across the region.
Storms Fire on the Plains at Night
After a day of blazing heat and humidity, a dangerous cluster of thunderstorms will blossom across southern Nebraska into Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Tulsa, Springfield and Little Rock are all potentially at risk late Thursday afternoon and into the overnight hours.
The biggest threats from these storms will be damaging wind gusts as high as 70 mph, large hail and perhaps a tornado.
If you have any plans to be out and about on Thursday or Thursday night across the Plains, Northeast, Midwest or Southeast, keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions.
Dark skies ahead can signal blinding downpours, powerful winds and possible hail. If you get caught driving through this weather, pull over to a safe location, away from any trees or power poles, and wait for it to pass.
Keep in mind that lightning is one of Mother Nature's leading source of injuries and fatalities. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, even if the sun is still shining.