Thunderstorms, torrential rain forecast for Friday, followed by relief from the heat

NEW YORK — Thursday marks day six of a sweltering heat wave that's been gripping the region and while there is relief in sight, that break will come courtesy of powerful thunderstorms forecast to hit overnight and remain throughout Friday.

A heat advisory remains in effect until 8 p.m. Thursday for New York City, northeastern New Jersey, the lower Hudson Valley and parts of Connecticut, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to finish off Thursday afternoon, with cooler temperatures of 75 degrees in the city and low 70 degrees in the suburbs.

Then the real action begins.

Friday will see heavy downpours, gusty winds and dangerous lightning, with a high temperature of 85 degrees in the city and mid 80 degrees in the suburbs.

Torrential downpours could impact the morning commute, the NWS said. Thunderstorms will bring heavy rainfall to the area with as much as 1 to 2 inches of rain per hour possible.

A flash flood watch will be in effect from 2 a.m. Friday through Friday afternoon for the five boroughs, Long Island, northeastern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, the weather service said.

The week will end on a muggy note, but heat indices -- which for several days have climbed into the low 100s across the region -- will fall short of 95 and high temperatures will remain in the 80s.

Then comes the relief.

Skies are expected to clear Friday night as high pressure builds. Temperatures will become noticeably cooler with a refreshing north-northeast wind. Lows will fall into the 50s across much of the region with lows in the 60s in New York City and near the coasts.

Weekend temperatures will be in the low to mid 80s.

But before the heat breaks, New Yorkers are warned to take precaution and prepare for the severe summer weather.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a warning on Thursday and urged New Yorkers to limit their electrical use between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to avoid power outages.

The governor recommended having the following supplies in case the power goes out:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines

Cuomo issued the following safety tips to keep in mind during Friday's thunderstorm:

  • Check the weather forecast before heading outdoors.
  • If a storm is approaching, keep an AM/FM radio with you.
  • Watch for signs of approaching storms, and postpone outdoor activities if storms are imminent.
  • Check on neighbors who require special assistance: infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
  • As the storm approaches, move to a sturdy building or car.  Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.
  • Get to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible.  Do not attempt to drive to safety - most flash flooding deaths occur in automobiles.