Deadly thunderstorms erupted over the southern Plains on Tuesday. These storms will shift eastward into tonight, focusing their fury from lower Michigan to northern Louisiana.
A swath from eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi to the central portions of Illinois and Indiana will be in the highest risk area for devastating tornadoes into tonight. This elevated tornado risk area includes the cities of Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis, Louisville and Indianapolis.
Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski advised on Tuesday, that "if a tornado warning is issued, immediately seek shelter. The safest areas are a storm shelter, basement or interior room in the lowest level of your home in that order."
Besides tornadoes, thunderstorms into tonight could produce wind gusts well past 60 mph that will be capable of downing trees and power lines, damaging buildings and toppling tractor trailers. Enough hail could fall to cover the ground in a few locations. A couple of the thunderstorms could bring hail the size of baseballs.
Torrents of rain could send flash flood waters flowing over city streets and small streams quickly out of their banks.
Travelers along stretches of Interstates 70, 44, 40, 30, 20, 75, 65, 57 and 55 could run into one of these storms. Motorists in these areas should be sure to heed all road sign and radio warnings.
It is also possible for some of the tornadoes to be wrapped in rain, making them nearly impossible to spot from a driver's view.
Never drive across flooded roadways as the road beneath may have been washed away.
Shreveport, Tyler, Little Rock, Jackson, Miss., Nashville, St. Louis, Louisville, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Detroit are among the cities and towns at risk for a damaging thunderstorm through tonight. Tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., could also have another powerful thunderstorm today.
Travel headaches will not be limited to the ground. Flight delays and cancellations are a possibility as any thunderstorms enter the vicinity of some of the Midwest's busiest air hubs.
Thursday, the storms will continue to march eastward. Locally severe thunderstorms will threaten a zone from southern Ontario, much of Ohio and the western parts of New York and Pennsylvania to tornado-weary Alabama.
Minneapolis will see a significant shift in temperatures this weekend.
Thunderstorms once again turn severe across the Ohio Valley and into the mid-Atlantic through Sunday night.
More summer-like conditions will return to the Boston area for a brief time before a front pushes through the region during the latter part of the weekend.
Stormy weather will be the theme for the weekend across the Midwest and Ohio Valley with several chances for severe thunderstorms.
After a bout with midweek showers and storms, Seattle will have drier, pleasant weather that will carry into Wednesday.
Los Angeles will be having a slight increase in temperature as sunny days remain a constant presence over the next several days.
Wildwood, NJ (2000)
More than 4" of rain.
New Holstein, WI (2007)
Strong thunderstorm winds blew two airplanes into one another at the local airport.
New York/MA (1819)
Two simultaneous cloudbursts, 45 miles apart; A bucket survey claimed 15" of rain fell at Catskill, NY. Highways were completely washed out. One washout started west of the old Albany Post Road and spread eastward across the road until it was 190 feet wide and 80 feet deep in a distance of 160 paces. At Westfield Valley, "suddenly the windows of heaven seemed to have been opened and the rain fell in such torrents that in less than 5 hours, Westfield River rose at least 20 feet above its usual height at low water. The river overflowed its banks with great rapidity and violence, sweeping away every bridge, fence and building which opposed its current."