Storms may hit Friday commute hard in northeastern US

The same storm responsible for severe weather in the central United States into Thursday will swing into the Northeast on Friday.

Some heavy, gusty thunderstorms may survive the trip from Ohio and Michigan to parts of West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and western New York into early Friday.

"Downpours may develop well out ahead of the storms from the Midwest on Friday morning in eastern areas of the mid-Atlantic," according to Chief AccuWeather Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

The greatest risk from the storms in these areas early Friday will be for isolated flash and urban flooding, as well as travel disruptions.

The storms will get a boost from daytime heating and moisture farther to the east on Friday afternoon.

"Given the comfortable conditions as of late, anyone from the mid-Atlantic to New York state will clearly notice Friday’s surge of very humid air," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

People heading home from work or heading out on their weekend venture during Friday afternoon and evening along Interstates 66, 68, 70, 76, 78, 80, 81 and 95 may face some weather-related trouble.

"All the moisture in the air and the building storms will translate to torrential downpours," Pydynowski said.

The most widespread problem will be due to localized torrential downpours that can bring near-zero visibility and urban flooding. Motorists may need to reduce their speed to avoid the risk of hydroplaning or possibly take another route due to flooded streets and highways.

"Enough rain can fall in a short period of time to lead to small stream flooding as well," Pydynowski said.

As the storms approach the major hubs of Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., airline delays are likely to increase.

"Some of the storms will pack a punch in terms of wind and frequent lightning strikes as well," Pydnowski said.

Some communities may face fallen trees as well as power surges and outages.

Major League Baseball games are in jeopardy of being delayed or postponed in Baltimore, New York City and Boston on Friday evening. Play at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, may also be affected on Friday.

Later Friday night, the gusty thunderstorms will evolve into a zone of drenching rain that pushes eastward across New England. A few incidents of flash and urban flooding may follow along with the late-night rain.

By Saturday, the storm should have passed by and most of the region can expect some sunshine.

Humidity levels will begin to lower over the central Appalachians on Saturday. It may take until Saturday night or Sunday for there to be a noticeable difference near the Atlantic coast.