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Fox News Weather Center

Severe storms to rock Ohio Valley, northeastern US Saturday

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The threat for heavy and locally damaging thunderstorms will shift into the Ohio Valley and Northeast into Saturday night.

"An approaching cold front separating a summerlike air mass from a fall-like air mass will ignite robust thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.

The storms will progress from west to east, first impacting areas from Cleveland to Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday afternoon before reaching Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York, during the evening.

Portions of southern Ontario, including London and Toronto, Canada, could also face a few severe storms to start the weekend.

While the overriding threats will be damaging winds and flash flooding, the potential exists for an isolated tornado or two.

"The best chance for an isolated tornado will be across southern Ontario and western and northern New York state," Rathbun explained.

Some communities could experience power outages, tree damage and standing water on area roadways.

Residents from western New York into western Pennsylvania and much of Ohio and Kentucky should be on alert for rumbles of thunder or strikes of lightning as they go about outdoor activities.

Fans heading to college football games in the region should consider bringing along a poncho or umbrella and should heed all instructions from stadium officials if a storm erupts during the game.

Despite the storms putting a damper on outdoor plans, the rain will be beneficial for portions of New York and Pennsylvania, where abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions are occurring, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.

As the storms progress farther eastward into the interior Northeast on Saturday night, the intensity of the storms are expected to gradually diminish.

Showers and a few rumbles of thunder may be all that is left of the storms once they reach New England overnight.

Activity will be very spotty farther south from New York City to Washington, D.C., late on Saturday night into early Sunday morning.

"These storms will quickly weaken as they approach the Interstate-95 corridor for the second half of the night," Rathbun said.

Showers may linger across coastal areas early Sunday morning before clearing takes place during the midmorning and afternoon.

Behind the front, a stretch of drier, cooler and less humid conditions is expected across the region for the early part of the new week.