The same storm system which brought severe weather to the Plains on Saturday is ending this weekend on a windy note across the Midwest with a handful of violent thunderstorms erupting.
Winds are howling throughout the Midwest, but have proven to be strongest from the lower Great Lakes to the Tennessee Valley.
These winds, occurring outside of thunderstorms, have topped 40 mph in some communities across southern Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Columbus, Ohio, endured a peak wind gust of nearly 50 mph earlier this afternoon. Around the same time, gusty winds downed a large tree limb in Cedarville, Ohio (located in between Columbus and Cincinnati).
Additional loose tree branches and limbs across the Midwest could endure the same fate, potentially harming those walking below, as the winds continue to howl into this evening.
While most communities will turn calmer after midnight, Michigan and places around the eastern Great Lakes will stay windy throughout the night.
Buffalo and Niagara Falls, N.Y., will actually turn windier as the night progresses.
In addition to persistent howling winds, additional gusty thunderstorms will erupt into this evening from the lower Great Lakes to the Tennessee Valley.
A handful of the thunderstorms will turn severe with gusts exceeding 50 to 60 mph, leading to greater tree damage and power outages. Hail and isolated tornadoes are also a concern.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists are especially concerned for these localized, but violent thunderstorms across northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.
Cities in this zone include South Bend and Kalamazoo.
North of the threat for violent thunderstorms, a chilly and soaking rain will continue from Wisconsin to northern Michigan into tonight. Especially in low lying and poor drainage areas, this region may be susceptible to localized flooding.
The rain will eventually taper off in a southwest to northeast fashion as tonight progresses and the potent storm producing today's adverse weather departs the Midwest.
A brisk wind will follow for Monday throughout the Midwest. Aside from a shower or two from eastern Michigan to the Northeast, dry weather will return.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Photos.com
AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Courtney Spamer contributed to the content of this story.
Heavy rain will soak the Gulf Coast and expand into the Southeast early this week, perhaps bringing isolated flooding but also helping to battle the drought.
As arctic air is held at bay next week, warmth will build from the West to the Central states, while the temperatures rebound to seasonable levels in the Northeast.
Interstate 64 was closed between Reidland and Cadiz, Kentucky, due to heavy snowfall. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear activated the Kentucky National Guard to assist stranded motorists.
An upcoming thaw will raise concerns for flooding and ice jams in parts of the Midwest and East through the middle of March.
Major tornado from a severe weather outbreak in the southeast. The tornado was near Selma, AL and killed 4 people. It also destroyed 14 homes and 20 trailer homes. A tornado near Montgomery, AL hit a mobile home park causing 2 fatalities.
Milton Exp. Station, FL (1954)
4" of snow, greatest 24 hour snowfall in state history, also greatest single storm total.
Pensacola, FL (1954)
2.1" of snow, greatest 24 hour snowfall in city's history, also greatest single storm total.