The good news is that "a massive storm system originally forecast to affect one in five Americans from Iowa to Maryland surged Thursday toward the Mid-Atlantic after largely failing to live up to its billing in ferocity through the Upper Midwest."
The bad news, The Associated Press adds, is that "while the Midwest dodged a derecho, several tornadoes, large hail and flooding did some damage." And "for Washington, Philadelphia and parts of the Mid-Atlantic the big storm risk continues and even increases a bit Thursday."
According to the National Weather Service:
"Ongoing severe weather Wednesday night will continue moving east from the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic on Thursday. The Storm Prediction Center continues a Moderate Risk tonight for the Mid-Atlantic for large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. An area of Slight Risk surrounds it along most of the East Coast."
The D-word (derecho) seems to have been taken out of the equation, thankfully. The AP notes that some meteorologists had "warned about the possibility of a weather event called a derecho (deh-RAY'-choh), which is a storm of strong straight-line winds spanning at least 240 miles." And it reminds us that "last year, a derecho caused at least $1 billion in damage from Chicago to Washington, killing 13 people and leaving more than 4 million people without power."
But, the AP says, "by early Thursday, a derecho hadn't developed. And Greg Carbin of the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said, 'With each hour that goes by, it's less likely.' "
Of course, even a storm that's only "severe" instead of catastrophic can be serious. So it makes sense to stay alert if you're among the millions in the path of such a storm. The Weather Channel is tracking Thursday's storms here.