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Fox News Weather Center

Rounds of rain, storms to soak mid-Atlantic into first week of May

While dry air holds over much of New England, rounds of rain and storms will take aim on much of the mid-Atlantic into next week.

A split in the jet stream will produce the variance in the weather pattern from north to south. The jet stream is a river of air high in the atmosphere that guides weather systems along.

"One part of jet stream will push a flow of dry and cool air will from southeastern Canada to New England," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams. "The other part of the jet stream will allow rounds of moisture to stream in from the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico toward the mid-Atlantic."

In the short-term, the first batch of rain will reach as far north as part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to much of Pennsylvania and New Jersey from Thursday into Friday.

"The New York City area will be on the northern fringe of the rain to end the week," Abrams said.

The rain will dampen Detroit and Cleveland and soak Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Farther south, from portions of southern Ohio to much of West Virginia, Virginia and lower Maryland, the air will be warm enough to allow some thunderstorms to develop into Friday. The storms can rumble in Cincinnati; Pittsburgh; Charleston, West Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

A few of the storms could bring locally gusty winds, hail and frequent lightning strikes from the Carolinas to southeastern Virginia, mainly on Thursday and into Thursday night.

For the mid-Atlantic, Saturday will offer the best day of the next week or so for outdoor plans.

Following a southward push of the rain and a breakup of clouds during Saturday, rain is likely to return to much of the upper reaches of the Ohio Valley, part of the lower Great Lakes and the mid-Atlantic states on Sunday.

There is a chance that the rain could sweep into part of New England, including the Boston area, for a time early next week.

"This kind of pattern, with a parade of storms, each with similar tracks, can lead to locally heavy rainfall amounts into next week," Abrams said.

The unfolding pattern will bring relief to the recent weeks of dry conditions and elevated risk of wildfires for much of the mid-Atlantic region. In this area, a general inch or so of rain is likely with up to a few inches in some locations into next week.

While the rain will be a boost for lawns and agriculture, it could bring construction and other outdoor projects to a crawl.

The rain and wet snow that fell on parts of New England and upstate New York on Tuesday could be the only moisture northern areas receive into the first few days of May.

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