A severe weather outbreak is underway on Monday as thunderstorms unleashed damaging wind gusts, hail, drenching rainfall and even a few tornadoes.

Live updates: Damaging storms racing across Eastern US

Accounting for every level of severe storm risk, around 120 million people in the Eastern US could be impacted by damaging weather Monday and Monday night as a potent storm system, especially for August, crosses the region.

Wind gusts in the strongest storms could reach speeds of 60 to 80 mph. The upper end of this range is equivalent to hurricane-force wind gusts and can cause significant damage.

Power outages and flight cancellations mounted as storms slammed several states with strong winds.

More than 170,000 customers were without power on Monday afternoon across the East, with the majority of outages in Tennessee, Georgia and West Virginia, according to PowerOutage.us.

Over 1,000 flights were canceled Monday with 4,500 additional delays as storms disrupted flight paths to major hubs like Atlanta, according to data from FlightAware.

A Level 4 of 5, moderate risk of severe thunderstorms is in place Monday – the first Level 4 issued in the US since June 29 and the first for Washington D.C., in over a decade. People who live or work in the area should have a plan in place to take shelter if warnings are issued.

The greatest risk of widespread, potentially destructive winds will center along a more confined corridor from western Virginia to far southern Pennsylvania as storms roar to life Monday afternoon. Home to more than 13 million people, the corridor includes major population centers like Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

Damaging winds will also be the most prevalent impact anywhere from Alabama and Georgia northward into New York and New Jersey. Some major cities at risk include Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Robust winds may damage property, snap tree branches and bring down power lines which could leave some residents without power or air conditioning after high temperatures reach into the 80s and 90s in the East Monday afternoon.

A few tornadoes are also possible from portions of the Southeast to the Northeast. Several tornado watches were issued by Monday afternoon, covering around 40 million people across a large area from western Tennessee and Kentucky eastward into portions of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The greatest risk of tornadoes on Monday will stretch from eastern Kentucky into central Maryland…Source – Read More!

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