Severe storms to hammer Midwest, Plains and parts of East
Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis are just a few of the cities at risk for storms.
Potentially dangerous, damaging and disruptive storms will erupt on a daily basis across portions of the central and eastern United States through Friday along the edge of a searing mass of hot and humid air spreading eastward across the country this week.
Hard-hit New England will catch a brief break from heavy storms into at least Thursday, after storms pelted the region with intense hail, winds and flash flooding earlier this week.
Farther southwest, late afternoon and evening thunderstorms will develop and become heavy and gusty over the Front Range of the Rockies in southern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico on Thursday.
"Damaging wind gusts, large hail and flash flooding are expected with the strongest storms over the southern Plains early on Thursday night," AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Eddie Walker said.
Farther to the northeast during Thursday afternoon and evening, a swath of heavy, gusty and severe thunderstorms are anticipated from the middle Mississippi Valley through the Ohio Valley and on into the eastern Great Lakes and parts of the central Appalachians.
The most common threats will be from downpours that can overwhelm neighborhood storm drains and cause small streams to spill out of their banks.
The strongest storms can produce high wind gusts and isolated tornadoes from Ohio to northwestern Pennsylvania and western and central New York state during Thursday afternoon.
A few isolated heavy storms will also rumble over the Southeastern states, especially during the afternoon and evening hours on Thursday.
On Friday, locally heavy storms could affect much of the East Coast and parts of the South, but the greatest risk of violent storms on a regional basis will jump over a thousand miles farther to the northwest as a new cycle of severe weather begins.
Storms during Friday afternoon and night are likely to target areas from the Dakotas to Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The storm threat will not stop at the northern border of the U.S. but will also affect southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, as well as far southeastern Saskatchewan and part of northwestern Ontario.
As has been the case with severe weather much of this week, the full spectrum of threats is likely with any storms on Friday, including hurricane-force wind gusts and the potential for a few isolated tornadoes.
People are encouraged to move indoors at the first rumble of thunder. Picnic pavilions and golf carts do not offer adequate protection from lightning, but a hard-top car or truck is considered safe if a building is not nearby. Experts recommend avoiding standing near trees, which extend well above the landscape and are often the closest target for lightning.
Motorists are urged to never drive through flooded roads as the water may be deeper than it appears or may still be rising, and to instead keep the National Weather Service slogan "turn around, don't drown" in mind. In some cases, the road surface may have been washed away beneath the water.
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