The FOX Forecast Center is tracking a potent late-week storm that is expected to bring a threat of severe thunderstorms to the Southeast as heavy rain and some snow spread into the Northeast.
An area of low pressure is currently sliding out of the Rockies and into the Plains, and it will track across the southern and eastern states Thursday and Friday.
A widespread area of rain will develop from the Great Lakes to the Southeast on Thursday before reaching the Eastern Seaboard by Thursday night. Thunderstorms are likely in the Southeast, where there will be a risk of severe weather, especially Thursday afternoon and evening across parts of Alabama and Georgia.
Heavy rain to soak Northeast late week
This storm system will continue to push east from Thursday night into Friday, with a widespread area of rain stretching from New England to Florida.
The rain will be locally heavy at times, and some embedded thunderstorms are not ruled out.
As cold air wraps into the backside of the storm, the FOX Forecast Center said there could be a band of snow that develops over some of the higher terrain of the interior Northeast and into northern New England. However, the precipitation is expected to remain in the form of rain across the majority of the Northeast as temperatures rise well above average.
The heaviest rain is predicted to fall from northeastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York state to southern, central, and eastern New England, including areas as far north as Downeast Maine. Between 1 and 2 inches of rain is possible, with up to 3 inches of rainfall not out of the question along the coast of far eastern Maine and in southeastern New England.
Some snow in higher elevations
Any accumulating snow will likely be confined to the higher terrain of the interior Northeast and the central Appalachians.
The storm system will pull away from the region over the weekend, but some lingering snow showers are possible southeast of the Great Lakes in the interior Northeast.
Severe weather threat eyes Southeast
An initial threat of isolated strong to severe storms is possible late Wednesday night and into early Thursday morning from northern Arkansas to parts of the mid-Mississippi and lower Ohio valleys.
A few damaging wind gusts, isolated large hail, and a brief tornado are all threats in this region.
According to the FOX Forecast Center, Thursday afternoon and evening will have the greatest risk of severe weather as a cold front sweeps eastward across the Southeast.
“As this cold front moves through, it continues to drag in that immense moisture from the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the cold front, and that is the fuel for the fire,” FOX Weather meteorologist Britta Merwin said. “It’s very much that clashing between the cool, dry air behind the front and that warm, moist air that’s really getting sucked up into the center of this system.”
Large portions of Alabama and Georgia, including the Atlanta metro area, will face the threat of severe thunderstorms. Strong storms are also possible in southeastern Tennessee and upstate South Carolina.
Damaging wind gusts are the main threat, but a brief tornado or two is also possible.