A line of thunderstorms rolling into the Northeast has the potential to produce wind gusts to 70 MPH and hail to the size of ping pong balls as they move through. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect ahead of the storms, which could impact the heavily-populated I-95 corridor around rush hour.

The bulk of the jet stream continues to lift north into Canada today after plaguing the southern Plains with flooding rains and destructive thunderstorms for weeks on end. Active weather follows the jet stream like a rabid dog imprinted on a careless human, and as such a threat for severe thunderstorms extends from the Plains straight to the coasts of New England.

The line of thunderstorms is quickly entering a very warm, soupy airmass rife with instability, which will intensify the thunderstorms beyond severe limits. The instability exists all the way to the coast, so even though the eastern extent of the severe thunderstorm watch stops around Newark, the threat could continue to the coast of New Jersey and into New York City and beyond. The map above shows surface-based CAPE with the radar around 2:00 PM EDT.

The latest run of the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh model shows the line of storms approaching Philadelphia between 5:00 and 6:00 PM, while they should start getting towards Newark and NYC shortly thereafter.

Even though it pains our dear readers to see “New York City” mentioned in any context that acknowledges that the city’s 8.4 million residents are living, breathing people, any threat of severe weather to that one city with a larger population than 39 out of 50 of these United States is a noteworthy occurrence. It’s unclear how strong the storms will be once they approach the I-95 corridor, and whether or not the stability of the marine layer will save New York and its suburbs from the threat of severe thunderstorms. It’s going to be a close one, though, and it’s better to stay alert and get ready just in case.

Residents in this region of the country aren’t usually as tuned-in to the threat for severe weather as their counterparts elsewhere in Midwest or south, so these storms have the potential to surprise a huge number of people when they swing through with damaging winds and large hail. Make sure you have several ways to receive severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings if they’re issued for your location, whether it’s through a NOAA Weather Radio, AM/FM radio, television, cell phone apps, or a website like weather.gov.

The Storm Prediction Center is responsible for issuing severe thunderstorm/tornado forecasts and watches, while local National Weather Service offices handle the task of issuing warnings for individual storms.

[Images: GREarth]

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