Thick heat and humidity in place from the nation's midsection to the Southeast will provide fuel for some more drenching thunderstorms today.
As a few potent upper-level disturbances pass through the heat, some of the storms could turn severe, especially across the lower Missouri and mid-Mississippi valleys, as well as a portion of the South.
Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo., Paducah, Ky., and Macon, Ga., are among the cities at higher risk for a gusty storm versus the rest of the Midwest and South, where scattered storms will be common.
Powerful wind gusts in excess of 50 mph and some hail will result from a few complexes of thunderstorms through early tonight. Vivid lightning and flooding downpours will be a staple in any storm as well.
It is plausible that one or two storms could rotate and spawn a tornado; however, the possibility of numerous twisters appears low.
Any tornado warning must be taken seriously and those warned should seek safe shelter regardless of whether a tornado is actually confirmed with the warning.
Even non-severe storms can be dangerous. Lightning injured four people on the beach in Wildwood Crest, N.J., on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, there were numerous reports of strong wind gusts and hail from southern Missouri to Virginia.
The storm system that pushed through the northern Plains slated to arrive in Missouri today also produced wind damage and hail from Colorado to Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, the northern Plains will have little time in between severe weather episodes as a multi-day outbreak is expected to take shape this evening over the Dakotas.
Meanwhile, the Northeast, plagued by several days of isolated but drenching storms will finally catch a break late this week as high pressure builds in from the west. This weekend, however, the storms will return.
Tropical Depression Two has formed in the Atlantic and could become the next tropical storm of the season by midweek.
Severe storms will rumble through parts of the Midwest, including Chicago, early Tuesday night.
Warm and humid air in place over much of the Midwest and Northeast at midweek will contribute to the risk of drenching, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
With the recent heat fading away, more relief will greet the Northwest by midweek in the form of rain.
Mid-Atlantic Ocean (1788)
(22nd-24th) George Washington Hurricane; After causing ship disasters off SW Bermuda, the storm moved NW over Tidewater, NC and VA to pass right over George Washington's Mt. Vernon plantation. On July 24th, George Washington wrote in his diary: "About noon the wind suddenly shifted from NE to SW and blew the remaining part of the day violently from that quarter. The tide this time rose near higher than it was ever known to do, driving boats, etc. into fields, where no tide had ever been heard of before, and most, it is apprehended, having done infinite damage on their wharves at Alexandria, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc. At home all day."
Canton, IL (1975)
A tornado ripped through a 3-block section of downtown, killing 2 people, injuring 75 and creating $5 million damage. A 15-foot wooden plank was driven through an auto engine block, splitting the front of the car in two. The woman driving was not injured. National Guardsmen were called in to prevent looting.
Columbus, OH (1979)
This is the first year in 101 years of record keeping at Columbus in which the temperature has not reached 90 degrees by July 23rd.