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Flash Flood Watch

Damaging storms to jolt 1,400-mile-long swath of central US

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 10, 2019, 9:38:48 PM EDT

Heavy, damaging thunderstorms will cut into the hot, steamy air over the central United States into Wednesday evening.

An approximate 1,400-mile-long swath from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to West Texas will be at risk for severe weather.

While this does not mean that every location within this corridor will get hit with a damaging thunderstorm, it will mean that people living in and traveling through the areas at risk should pay close attention to the weather throughout the day.

The greatest concentration of severe weather may be on the northern and southern sections of the threat zone, with more isolated activity in between.

Severe Midwest Wednesday 3 pm

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Damaging wind gusts, large hail, torrential downpours and even a couple of tornadoes will be possible in the strongest storms, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham.

The storms can impact some larger metro areas, including Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Oklahoma City and Dallas.

Chicago may receive a spotty shower or thunderstorm at worst, with the most intense storms firing up to the north and east.

"With Lake Michigan warming up, thunderstorms can hold on to their intensity when passing over the lake and bring a damaging wind threat to Lower Michigan Wednesday afternoon and evening," Buckingham said.

Travel will become difficult on the interstates where the storms cross, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun. This includes sections of interstates 35, 40, 55, 69, 70, 75, 80 and 90.

Motorists are urged to slow down in the downpours to lessen the risk of hydroplaning while traveling at highway speeds.

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"No open area outdoors is safe during a thunderstorm," Rathbun said.

As soon as thunder is heard, the risk of being struck by lightning is then present. This is why it is vital to head indoors immediately after the first crack of thunder.

Boaters on area lakes should head to shore as soon as the sky looks threatening.

The storms will help to briefly trim the heat and humidity across the northern tier states, while steamy air holds firm farther south.

Chicago will trade Wednesday's high in the lower 90s with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures near 100 degrees Fahrenheit for a comfortable high of 80 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the risk of severe weather is expected to then shift into the East on Thursday.

Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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