Most of the Mid-Atlantic will be at risk for isolated to perhaps scattered severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening. This comes as an upper-level trough moves over the region, while a weak cold front slowly moves eastward across the region toward New England. These features, along with 30-35 knots of wind shear and modest instability, will work to develop scattered thunderstorms by early afternoon.

This is an interesting setup, as the more favorable wind shear will be located over the northern half of the Mid-Atlantic, but instability will be lacking over the southern half. If these ingredients appear to overlap better, then the risk for severe storms may slightly increase for today, especially near the Mason-Dixon Line.

All is quiet on the radar this morning, but that will change heading into the afternoon as a line of scattered thunderstorms works into the Appalachians Mountains, continuing to the east. Storms may become an issue in parts of the I-95 corridor after 5pm, but thankfully the evening commute does not look to be impacted. One of the more populated cities to watch this afternoon for storms will be Washington, DC, as some of the model guidance hints at strong storms rolling through the city between 5 and 9pm. Into the evening, storms will overspread into New England, and one or two of these storms may be severe,

Based on the current atmospheric setup, damaging winds will be the main risk, but we cannot rule out spotty, small hail and a spin-up tornado. We have seen both of these crop up recently as a result of spotty, heavy thunderstorms. Rain and lightning will also be an obvious issue, with some storms having the ability to dump over an inch of rain in some neighborhoods.


Jackson is Head of Content at WeatherOptics and produces several forecasts and manages all social media platforms. Previously, Jackson forecasted local weather for southwestern Connecticut, founding his website, Jackson's Weather, in the March of 2015. He is currently studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Miami.

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