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Heavy, gusty storms to target Pittsburgh to NYC, DC to end weekend

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Numerous heavy and gusty thunderstorms from the midwestern United States will target the Northeast to end the weekend on Sunday.

The downpours and locally gusty storms could cause travel disruptions, especially for those on the highways heading to and from weekend activities.

The heavy thunderstorms will start Sunday soaking places from Rochester, New York, to Pittsburgh.

The thunderstorms will cross Williamsport, Pennsylvania, site of the Little League World Series, before reaching Albany, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., in the afternoon.

New York City; Lebanon, New Hampshire; and Springfield, Massachusetts, will be at risk on Sunday evening before the downpours reach Boston and Portland, Maine, late on Sunday night.

For the New York City area, the heavy thunderstorms will come after slow-moving downpours triggered flash flooding across northern Long Island on Saturday.

Radar estimates that more than 6 inches of rain fell around Jamesport, on northeastern Long Island.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards is concerned that the strongest thunderstorms will do more than cause disruptions to travel and outdoor plans.

"The main threats from these storms are going to be isolated damaging wind gusts to 60 mph, which can bring down trees and power lines," Edwards said.

"The most widespread damaging winds are expected during the afternoon hours from near Washington, D.C., through eastern Pennsylvania and eastern New York State," he said. "The risk will then shift to central New England during the evening."

Much like what threatened Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Saturday, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

Steamy air pouring into the Northeast will not only help fuel the heavy thunderstorms but could also lead to localized flash flooding.

"Aside from the damaging winds, the storms will produce rainfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour," Edwards said. "That can lead to flash flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas."

Any non-flooding rain will be welcome for portions of the Northeast as parts of western New York and eastern Massachusetts, including Boston, are dealing with extreme drought conditions.

Even in the absence of flooding, downpours alone can create issues for motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning when traveling at highway speeds.

Lightning from any thunderstorm will be dangerous to anyone who failed to seek shelter. As soon as thunder is heard, the risk of being struck by lightning is present.

"People spending time outdoors or on the highways should keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

In the wake of this storm, much cooler and less humid air will sweep from the Midwest to the Northeast to start the new week.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun contributed to the content of this story.