Downpours, gusty storms to rumble through midwestern US into Saturday evening

By Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather meteorologist
November 18, 2017, 2:44:23 PM EST

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A potent storm system will cross the midwestern United States on Saturday, unleashing soaking rain, strong winds and locally severe thunderstorms.

“As a cold front moves across the Great Lakes on Saturday, rain will break out across the area,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.

A few thunderstorms may accompany the downpours.

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“Although the severe threat looks low, wind gusts of 40-50 mph will be possible in cities such as Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio; and Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday afternoon,” Adamson warned.

Winds of this strength can blow around loose objects and lawn furniture. Tree damage can also occur.

The combination of rain and gusty winds may make for a miserable drive and tough going for fans and players at area high school and college football games.

Motorists venturing across interstates 40, 55, 70 and 80 in the threat zone should maintain a tight grip on the wheel and reduce speeds in blinding downpours and bursts of stronger winds.

There is a small chance that an isolated tornado or two can spin up, mainly into the late afternoon hours.

Even in the absence of severe storms, heavy rainfall remains a primary threat. Areas hit by prolonged downpours can receive up to an inch or two of rainfall in a short amount of time.

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Flooding issues should not be widespread, however, since “the system will be moving eastward at a rapid pace,” Adamson added.

Portions of Indiana and Ohio were impacted by damaging tornadoes on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 that injured eight people in Celina, Ohio, and caused major structural damage in Jay County, Indiana.

Although the storms on Saturday may disrupt ongoing recovery efforts, widespread damage is unlikely and tornadoes are not expected.

Following the disruptive weather, temperatures on Sunday will plummet 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit lower than Saturday as a surge of arctic air and lake-effect snow sweep into the eastern United States.

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