Home News Possible Thursday thunderstorms could disrupt holiday travel

Possible Thursday thunderstorms could disrupt holiday travel


Powerful thunderstorms could descend upon the Big Apple and the tristate area Thursday, rudely interrupting this week’s spate of idyllic weather with rain, 60-mph wind gusts, damaging hail and lightning, forecasters warned Wednesday.

While the forecast sounded potentially apocalypse-adjacent, the storms are not destined to wreak havoc, meteorologists told the Daily News. The trick is knowing what will happen where and when. The predictions for a mild Memorial Day Weekend still held.

Thursday could see a “very low chance in the morning of a shower,” National Weather Service meteorologist David Stark told the News. Progressing through the day, the risk rises, he and Accuweather senior meteorologist Kerry Schwindenhammer said.

“The greatest threat appears to be late morning into the afternoon,” Stark said. “It should start to wind down in the early evening.”

One or two of the squalls could include “severe wind gusts” that could down trees and cause other damage, Stark said. “Small hail can’t be ruled out as well.”

The storms will be scattered and short-lived, according to the science, but “some could produce some damaging wind, hail and flooding downpours,” Schwindenhammer said.

It’s all due to a coldish front that is sweeping into town amid 80-something degree temps and sunny skies.

New Yorkers walk in the heavy rain near City Hall Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)
New Yorkers walk in heavy rain near City Hall Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in Manhattan, New York. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)

The biggest concern is lightning strikes, Stark said, especially for those who are jump-starting their holiday weekend with outdoor activities. Travel would likely not be deeply affected.

“If you’re on the road and you’re out there and it is potentially heavy rain, it could have a slight impact briefly,” Stark said, noting that some areas may not see a drop. “It’s not going to be a one-size fits all. It’s important to be mindful that the threat is there.”

“The farther north you go, the less likely you are to see the heavy thunderstorms,” Schwindenhammer noted. Likewise, the farther south one ventures, along, say, the Jersey Shore, the heavier the activity will be.

The local storms are among a slew that will stretch from the mid-Atlantic up through the Hudson Valley and New England. The biggest thunderstorm threat is in the Midwest, where severe weather and flooding downpours threatened to beset the storm-weary region, according to Accuweather.

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