#50 million people in path of extreme weather heading toward East Coast

#50 million people in path of extreme weather heading toward East Coast

July 22, 2020 | 10:04am | Updated July 22, 2020 | 10:45am

More than 50 million people across a wide swath are in the path of powerful thunderstorms packing strong winds and torrential downpours heading eastward Wednesday, meteorologists said.

“A very humid air mass spreading out across the East on Wednesday is going to be a key ingredient which will cause some heavy thunderstorms to break out, especially in the central Appalachians and the mid-Atlantic region,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Carl Babinski.

More than 56 million are under a slight risk of severe weather, while another 35 million are under a marginal risk, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center said.

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As the storms gain strength, they will be capable of producing heavy flooding and damaging wind gusts.

Cities likely to be hit include Pittsburgh and Bradford, Pennsylvania, and Charleston, West Virginia.

Later in the day, locations from Syracuse to State College, Pennsylvania, and Hagerstown, Maryland, also will be at risk for severe weather before the storms continue eastward.

“By early Wednesday night, there will be several locations near the I-95 corridor that will get some much-needed relief from intense heat and humidity, but it will come at a price,” Babinski said.

“Thunderstorms will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts, as well as a downpour that could cause flash flooding,” he added.

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After the system moves through the Big Apple and Philadelphia Wednesday evening, the storms are likely to weaken after sunset as they move up into New England, according to AccuWeather.

And as a cold front moves east Thursday, locations along the I-95 corridor will again have the potential for severe weather, it added.

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