80 Million Americans in the Path of Violent Storms

Deadly lightning, tornadoes, floods and ferocious thunderstorms continue to pose serious concern.
6:45 | 07/14/14

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Transcript for 80 Million Americans in the Path of Violent Storms
millions of Americans driving home from work, many bracing for severe weather into the night. The radar at this hour says it all, nearly 20 states now under watches and warnings for flash floods, thunderstorms and more of that lightning, some of it deadly this weekend. This image coming in, a direct hit on the library of congress in D.C. Behind the capitol, triggered by a deep cold snap colliding with warm weather. Tonight they confirmed an ef-4 tornado. Concerns from Baltimore to new York. Ginger zee leads us off tonight. David, there are a half dozen severe thunderstorm watches. It's not just the maps but the pictures we want to get you straight to tonight. Storms breaking out across the nation tonight, a close call with lightning in Oregon. Amanda racing to get her horses to shelter when lightning knocking her father to the ground. And a fresh rating tonight on that tornado in New York. An ef-1 confirmed in the finger lake town of Redding, New York Sunday, winds greater than 100 miles per hour. It's been a vicious 24 hours from coast to coast. Today heavy rains shutting down all southbound lanes of an Atlanta area highway with chain reaction crash, injuring at least nine people. In central Illinois, a foot and a half of rain submerging neighbors in waist deep waters this weekend. And in the southwest, monsoon storms knocking down trees, flipping tractor-trailers and forcing water rescue, almost an inch of rain falling in just 8 minutes near Tucson. Behind all that severe weather? An enthusiastic jet stream and a major push of cold air. Temperatures dropping into the 40s for some by tomorrow morning. That cold front though is also one of the factors driving more severe storms. You see, as the cold front passes, the warm summer air rises up, creating storms. The greater the gradient or the difference in temperature over a certain distance, the more fuel for the storms. Look at the high in Minneapolis for example. A chilly 64. Just over 550 miles away, St. Louis a steamy 90. What are we facing tonight? Tonight that severe storm area, especially the one we're watching along the east coast because you mentioned it early, a tornado warning north and east of Baltimore. Where you can see the pockets of Orange, the damaging winds from Connecticut back through Arkansas. That's tonight and it doesn't move much tomorrow. David, big cities like Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C. Are right there close to it. Virginia, North Carolina need to be on alert, especially tomorrow afternoon and evening. You talk about the cool air. How deep will these cool temperatures go? Watch this. This is tomorrow's high temperatures, just shy of 70 in Chicago but that cold front pushing all the way making Dallas go from 100 some today to 86 by Thursday. Nashville dropping to the low 80s which is koolt for this time of year.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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