Many residents were awakened by the sound of thundery rain, while travelers needed rafts to get around in parts of the Midwest Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Torrential rainfall resulted in widespread flooding problems in parts of eastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, central and northern Illinois, northern Indiana and southern Michigan.
Streets turned into rivers, while water flooded neighborhoods as rain overtook storm drains and sent streams on the rise.
This Doppler radar image shows estimated 24-hour rainfall ending at 7:00 a.m. CDT, Wed., June 26, 2013. The red shades indicate rainfall of 6.00 inches or more. There are rainfall observations supporting the radar estimates.
Tuesday evening started off like a typical June evening with spotty strong thunderstorms. However, the storms continued to grow in size, creating a large swath of torrential rain.
Flooding impacted large cities, suburbs, small towns and rural areas alike from Chicago to Madison, Wis., Independence, Iowa, and Michigan City, Ind.
Up to 3 feet of water swamped vehicles in Madison early Wednesday morning. A mudslide also occurred just south of the city. High winds also hit the Madison area, just prior to the deluge with gusts of 59 mph at Truax Airport and 66 mph near East Towne Mall.
Independence, Iowa, was hit by over 6 inches of rain early Wednesday morning. Flooding conditions were cited as being unprecedented and historic over much of Buchanan County, Iowa, according to a storm report filed by the Quad Cities, Iowa, National Weather Service office just past 5:09 a.m. CDT, Wednesday.
In Iowa, the Wapsipinicon River is forecast by National Weather Service hydrologists to reach record high levels between 23 and 25 feet Wednesday at Independence.
According to Tai Burkhart, spokesperson for Buchanan County Emergency Management, "Sandbagging operations are in effect as we prepare for flooding higher than in May 1999."
On May 5, 1999, water levels reached a record 22.35 feet. At the expected water level later Wednesday, a significant part of town would be flooded.
Record or near-record flooding is projected downstream along much of the Wapsipinicon River into the end of the week.
The risk of flooding downpours and damaging thunderstorm winds will continue over much of the same areas Wednesday.
The worst of the rain will settle slowly eastward over the Ohio Valley states Thursday.
The pattern causing the drenching rain will be squeezed to the Appalachians and Atlantic Seaboard late this week into next week, where it may stall and have similar consequences as tropical moisture feeds in.
Unsettled weather will rule in Atlanta this weekend and into the new week, with the chance of thunderstorms each day.
Dallas will see continued periods of heat and dry weather with temperatures expected to reach 100 F Sunday and Monday.
Commemorating French Independence Day, the city of New Orleans will celebrate Bastille Day this weekend, but storms may half festivities.
The mercury will continue to soar in Seattle throughout the weekend and into early next week with temperatures reaching near record highs Sunday through Tuesday.
Walker, IA (1992)
3.5 inches of rain in just one hour caused stream and river flooding.
New Jersey, NY (1895)
Cherry Hill Tornado in North Jersey caused $50,000 damage; funnel then descended at New York City in Harlem and Woodhaven, where one was killed; ended as a waterspout in Jamaica Bay; New York City damage totalled $43,000. Note: This is not the Cherry Hill in South Jersey.
Mississippi Valley & Great Lakes (1936)
Searing heat across the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes: Evansville, IN 107 degrees Alpena, MI 104 degrees Grand Rapids, MI 108 degrees St. Cloud, MN 107 degrees Wisconsin Dells, WI 114 degrees; all-time record. Green Bay, WI 104 degrees Fort Francis, ONT. 108 degrees; highest ever in Ontario Province. Mio, MI 112 degrees, all-time high in state.