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Possible Thursday thunderstorms in NYC area could disrupt early Memorial Day travel

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Powerful thunderstorms could descend upon New York City and the tristate area Thursday, interrupting this week’s idyllic spring weather with rain, 60 mph wind gusts, and damaging hail and lightning, forecasters warned Wednesday.

The storms are not expected to wreak havoc, and the forecast for a mild Memorial Day Weekend still held, meteorologists told the Daily News.

Thursday could see a “very low chance in the morning of a shower,” National Weather Service meteorologist David Stark told The News.

“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, but “could produce some damaging wind, hail and flooding downpours,” Accuweather senior meteorologist Kerry 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 heavy rain near City Hall Park in April. (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.

The local storms are among several 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 the storm-weary region, according to Accuweather.

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