For over a week, multiple storm systems have left people in the US under the threat of severe storms.
“If a tornado is reported today, it will be the 9th consecutive day with tornadoes somewhere in the US,” says CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
Several major southern metropolitan areas are facing the threat of damaging winds, hail and a few tornadoes, with the weather taking aim at 70 million people across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.
The cities of Atlanta in Georgia, Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina, and Virginia Beach and Norfolk in Virginia are all under an enhanced risk for severe storms — level 3 of 5.
This risk level means numerous severe storms are possible across that region.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) said that the primary threat is expected between late morning and early evening.
Damaging wind gusts are expected to be the most prevalent hazard in the morning hours, increasing the possibility of tornadoes in some afternoon storms.
Surrounding areas, including New Orleans, Birmingham, and Tallahassee are also at risk on Friday. These cities are facing a smaller risk — level 2 of 5 — for severe storms.
“Storms today will pop up haphazardly,” says CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. “With so much instability in the atmosphere, storms will develop almost out of the blue. Taking that literally…blue skies mean sunshine…sunshine means warmer air … and warmer air rises to create storms.”
So, just because the sun comes out, don’t let your guard down if you are in these risk areas on Friday.
Heavy rain of up to three inches will create a flood threat in the Mid-Atlantic.
“Rainfall totals up to 3 inches are possible and could create scattered flooding concerns in these areas,” the WPC said.
Flood watches are posted for central Pennsylvania, eastern Maryland and northern Virginia, affecting Baltimore and Washington DC along with other cities.
On Saturday, the storm system will slowly move off the East Coast.
“This will lead to a very dreary weather pattern to develop and linger across parts of the Northeast and down into the Mid-Atlantic through the weekend,” the Weather Prediction Center said. “Much of the Eastern Seaboard will be under the influence of overcast skies, gusty northeasterly winds, and occasional rain with high temperatures only reaching into the 50s.”
This is a stark contrast to the 100-degree temperatures forecast across Texas and the Southern plains this weekend.