Storms moving into the eastern United States on Thursday will stretch from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, with severe storms likely downwind of Lake Erie.
After temperatures soared to near record-breaking levels on Wednesday, a cold front tracking toward the Appalachians on Thursday will promise some relief for Friday.
However, cooler weather will come at the cost of potentially damaging storms for some Thursday afternoon.
While lightning and gusty winds are possible in any storms stretching from the Florida Panhandle to Detroit, severe storms are most likely from eastern Ohio through southwestern New York state.
Some sun is likely during the first half of the day, but cloudiness will increase through the afternoon as the atmosphere becomes unsettled.
“Thunderstorms will develop Thursday afternoon in eastern Ohio and track across western Pennsylvania and western New York throughout the late afternoon and evening,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido.
Cities in the line of fire include Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York.
Akron, Ohio, and Bradford, Pennsylvania, could also be impacted by severe storms.
“A few of these thunderstorms could be especially strong with the capability of producing gusty winds near 60 mph and small hail,” said Vido.
During the morning and early afternoon, precautions should be taken to protect property from damaging weather.
Cars and fragile outdoor furniture should be covered or moved indoors as protection from hail, or at least secured against the threat of strong winds.
Residents should stay up-to-date on local watches and warnings throughout the afternoon and evening.
“Those driving along interstates 80 and 90 Thursday afternoon and evening should prepare for potentially hazardous travel conditions,” said Vido.
Should threatening weather approach, shelter should be sought inside a sturdy building and away from windows.