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Strong Storms to Target Cincinnati, Pittsburgh Wednesday

As steamy summer air returns to the Great Lakes and Northeast through the midweek, so will the threat of strong thunderstorms.

Wednesday could turn rather active from upstate New York through the Ohio Valley as storms rumble through the region.

"The strongest storms could bring wind gusts up to 60 mph and heavy rain that could lead to flooding," said AccuWeather Senior Storm Meteorologist Kate Danna.

Cities that could be affected include Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Youngstown, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Erie, Pennsylvania; Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; Syracuse, New York; and Burlington, Vermont.

Storms will likely begin developing in the early afternoon and will continue through the evening.

The kicker for the storms will be a cold front that will slice through hot and humid air that's in place.

The arrival of that air will come early this week, ending the unusual cool spell that was placed on much of the eastern half of the country last week.

After eight consecutive days of high temperatures at or below normal, Pittsburgh will end that streak this week as temperatures soar upwards to near 90.

Dew points, a measure of moisture in the atmosphere, will climb to around 70 for many locations. This will be a noticeable difference from the pleasant 50s that were around a few days ago.

With the atmosphere saturated with moisture, there will be a heightened risk for torrential downpours. Flash flooding will threaten communities and could cause travel delays.

"Locations where storms linger will be the most susceptible for flooding," said Danna.

The threat for strong storms will shift to the southeast for Thursday. Southern Virginia through the Carolinas will be at the greatest risk while much of the I-95 corridor misses out on the strong storms.

"Latest indications point toward places from Philadelphia and New York City northward escaping severe weather since the timing of the front's passage and peak daytime heating will not align," said AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Although the cold front will bring strong storms, it will also usher in another shot of cool and pleasant air for the end of the week and into the weekend across the Great Lakes and Northeast.

The storms at midweek will follow an active early part of the week across the northern Plains to the western Great Lakes.