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.
The National Weather Service issued a severe threat for the Big Apple and the Lower Hudson Valley from 5 to 9 p.m.
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.
Heavy winds could damage trees and power lines, with hail and weak tornadoes also possible, AccuWeather meteorologist Alyson Hoegg told The Post.
The storms are expected to begin wreaking havoc on the Big Apple by about 6 p.m., she said. Heavy rainfall could cause widespread flooding in areas of poor drainage.
“It will mainly consist of very heavy thunderstorms and damaging winds,” Hoegg said, adding that “60 mile-an-hour winds are not out of the question.”
The expected precipitation is between 1 and 1.5 inches, but as much as 2 inches of rain could be dumped across the area depending on how fast the system passes through, she said.
The worst of it should be over by about 10 p.m., Hoegg added.
Isolated strong to severe thunderstorms also are possible across the area from 1 to 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
“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.
Cities also 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.
After the system moves through the Big Apple and Philadelphia Wednesday evening, the storms are likely to weaken 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.
By Yaron SteinbuchJuly 22, 2020 | 10:04am | Updated