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Cooler air to slice through northern US heat this weekend

By Alex Sosnowski • Updated May 19, 2017 at 4:04 PM

AccuWeather reports once cooler air presses across the northeastern United States into this weekend, there are no signs of heat returning to the region through the end of May.

Following the hot weather on Wednesday and Thursday, some people will be trading shorts and short sleeves for jackets and long-sleeve attire as they have done so often this spring. A few may have to tap the thermostat to turn on the furnace for a few hours.

The leading edge of cooler air was marked by showers and locally damaging thunderstorms from New England to the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic on Thursday.

Storms that erupt over parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia can become locally heavy and gusty into Friday night.

Heat will get hacked away from north to south in the Northeast as the week draws to a close.

Temperatures will be slashed by 20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit from the peak of the daytime heat from Thursday and Friday to the bottom of the nighttime chill this weekend and next week.

In Boston, daytime highs will be slashed 30 degrees from the high of 95 on Thursday to a high in the lower 60s on Saturday.

The temperature at La Guardia Airport, New York, set a record high in the 90s three days in a row from Wednesday through Friday. Highs in New York City will be slashed by 20 to 30 degrees this weekend.

"An east to northeast breeze and/or cloud cover will add to the dramatic cooldown along much of the Interstate-95 corridor and the immediate coastal areas," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

These conditions can result in AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures 5 to 8 degrees lower than the actual temperature during the daytime.

Even areas as far south as Maryland and Virginia can expect a significant change.

In Washington, D.C., a heat wave to end the week will be followed by multiple nights with lows in the upper 50s and days with highs in the 70s this weekend into next week.

"In the Ohio Valley, from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati and Indianapolis, the main thrust of the cooldown will be delayed until early next week," according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido.

Despite the dramatic return of cool weather, the overall pattern most days will not be as cold as that of the first couple of weeks of May.

Since the sun is as strong as late July, where the sun is out, it will negate some of the coolness during the day.

At night, only the chilliest spots of northern upstate New York and northern New England are likely to dip close to frosty levels during a couple of instances. Areas of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan that were hit hard by freezing temperatures earlier in May should not have to worry, despite the start of cooler daytime highs. Cloud cover will tend to stabilize temperatures at night.

Most days and nights from this weekend through the Memorial Day weekend are likely to feature temperatures within a few degrees of average, instead of temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees below normal.

"With the exception of Florida, areas east of the Rockies will not have widespread above-average temperatures during the last week of the month," Vido said.

There can be a day here and there where temperatures spike to warm levels briefly.

Central US to face ongoing severe weather threat through end of week

AccuWeather reports the severe weather threat will continue over a portion of the central United States that was hit hard by violent storms earlier this week.

Following multiple days under the threat of tornadoes, parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri will be at risk for severe thunderstorms that include the potential for a couple of isolated tornadoes on Friday.

The storm system producing the severe weather will begin to advance eastward on Friday, but it will not move fast; some communities will deal with yet another day of watching the skies and closely monitoring severe weather bulletins.

The new storms could be a major disruption to communities cleaning up and recovering from the violent storms this week.

Once again, the storms will target a large part of the Interstate 35 corridor, including Dallas, Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas.

"The storm threat will extend as far south as part of the Big Bend area of the Rio Grande River in southern Texas to northern Missouri, including the Kansas City metro area," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Other cities at risk for severe storms on Friday include Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Topeka, Kansas; and Joplin and Springfield, Missouri.

"Along with the potential for isolated tornadoes, the greatest threats from the severe thunderstorms will be for damaging wind gusts, hail and flash flooding on Friday and into Friday night," Pydynowski said.

St. Louis could be rocked by another round of heavy storms during Friday night, following severe weather early Friday morning. Since the next round of storms may not reach St. Louis until very late at night, they are likely to be less intense than those farther to the west earlier Friday evening. There is still the potential for heavy, gusty storms reaching the St. Louis metro area, however.

"The storm system will continue to produce areas of intense rainfall and consequential flooding," according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

Some of the heavy rainfall will overlap the severe thunderstorm threat area, while a portion of the heavy rain will fall well north of strongest storms.

Areas from central Texas to central Iowa will be at risk for flash, urban and stream flooding through Friday night.

On Saturday, the risk of flooding will continue over parts of Texas but will press eastward across the middle and lower Mississippi valleys, along with the potential for gusty and perhaps locally severe thunderstorms.

The risk of severe storms will diminish from Dallas to Kansas City on Saturday. Most of this corridor will be free of rain and storms from Saturday through Sunday afternoon.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Alex Sosnowski is a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.com.

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