While tornadoes will threaten areas of the southern Plains, storms near the lower Great Lakes will carry the risk of property damage from late Thursday afternoon to Thursday evening.
"As cooler air slices into the existing hot air around the lower Great Lakes region, thunderstorms will erupt and turn locally severe into Thursday evening," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis.
Areas from southeastern Michigan and southern Ontario to northern and central Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania and western and central New York state will be at risk.
Storms will stretch from Detroit to Cleveland and Toronto, as well as Erie, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, New York.
"Any of these storms can bring brief high wind gusts and hail," Travis said. "Motorists may encounter brief intense downpours that can make for hazardous conditions for the evening commute, especially along the Interstate 90 corridor."
Winds from the storms will be strong enough to down tree limbs, which could result in sporadic power outages.
As the storms pass through the major metro areas, airline delays are likely to increase.
While spotty thunderstorms can survive the trip farther to the south and east across New England and the mid-Atlantic late Thursday night and Friday, the storms are not likely to be as feisty.
Behind the storms, much cooler conditions will overspread the region into the weekend.