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Severe storm, flash flood threat to target mid-Atlantic Thursday

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The potential for severe thunderstorms and the risk of flash flooding will focus on the mid-Atlantic states on Thursday.

As is often the case when thunderstorms affect the densely-populated Northeast, travel disruptions will occur.

The storms forecast for the mid-Atlantic on Thursday will follow spotty severe weather on Tuesday and lower humidity levels on Wednesday in the region.

"The greatest threat from the storms on Thursday will be for pockets of flash flooding," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos.

"However, the strongest storms could bring localized damaging wind gusts," Avalos said.

A small number of the storms could produce hail.

While the risk of tornadoes is low on Thursday, a severe thunderstorm can produce a brief tornado on occasion.

Cities in the mid-Atlantic at greatest risk for locally severe storms on Thursday include Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia. Severe storms may also extend farther west to Pittsburgh; Charleston, West Virginia; Roanoke, Virginia; Lexington, Kentucky; and Cincinnati.

While people spending time outdoors will have to be alert for changing weather conditions, motorists should be on the lookout for flooded roadways and sudden low visibility.

As storms approach major airports, airline delays are likely.

Most of the severe storms are likely to pass south of New England and northeastern New York state. Rain and storms could avoid northern New England entirely. The New York City area and parts of southern New England, including Boston, Providence, Rhode Island, and Hartford, Connecticut, could be grazed by gusty storms with heavy rainfall.

Many areas of the Northeast could stand a thorough soaking as a significant part of the region has developed abnormally dry conditions with isolated pockets of moderate drought in recent weeks.

Even where rain is needed, too much rain could fall at too fast of a pace for the ground to absorb and result in flash flooding.