Persistent storms to generate inches of rain across midwestern, northeastern US this weekend

Floodwaters submerge Horseshoe Beach, Florida

By Brett Rathbun for AccuWeather

A stormy weather pattern will set up across the midwestern and northeastern United States with the potential for some locations to receive several inches of rain.

"A very humid air mass in place across the Northeast and Ohio Valley will lead to the opportunity for drenching showers and thunderstorms to develop across the region through the weekend," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

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High pressure dominating the region since the start of the week has moved off the coast. This will not only bring the return to heat and humidity, but also thunderstorms.

These thunderstorms will feed into tropical moisture which produced over a foot of rain across parts of the Gulf Coast states this week.

A storm approaching from the Upper Midwest will also provide fuel for thunderstorm development.

Rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible. Some communities could end up with between 3-5 inches of rain by the end of the weekend.

The heaviest rainfall amounts are expected to occur across the interior Northeast and Ohio Valley, two regions dealing with significant drought.

"This will be welcome news for parts of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and New England," Pydynowski said.

While the rain will be beneficial, flash flooding can occur in areas where storms strike several days in a row.

The risk for any widespread severe weather will be low. However, the strongest storms could produce some strong wind gusts, capable of knocking down trees and power lines.

Those traveling at highway speeds are urged to slow down in heavy downpours to reduce the risk of hydroplaning. Roads may also be slick due to oil buildup from vehicles.

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Umbrellas and rain jackets will be a necessity for any outdoor activities this weekend. Those spending time outside are urged to seek shelter at the first rumble of thunder.

"While thunderstorms will be more likely during the afternoon and evening hours, a shower or thunderstorm could occur at almost any time, due to the amount of moisture in the atmosphere," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.

Thunderstorms will be more widespread across the Ohio Valley and the interior Northeast and spotty along the Interstate-95 corridor through Friday.

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"The best days for widespread showers and thunderstorms from Boston to New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. will be this weekend," Adamson said.

Any afternoon thunderstorm will bring slight relief from the heat, but not the humidity. Temperatures could drop 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit during downpours.

Drier and less humid weather will attempt to return by the beginning of next week.

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