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Severe storm threat to shift into Great Lakes, Northeast on Sunday

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 20, 2019, 4:09:19 AM EDT

The threat for violent thunderstorms, including isolated tornadoes, is spreading into the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast as the weekend comes to a close.

After a violent Friday and Saturday of severe weather with dozens of reported tornadoes, the dangerous storms are shifting out of the Plains and targeting areas farther east.

On Sunday, the threat of severe weather is forecast to be the greatest from the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to northwestern Kentucky and western Tennessee.


Storms in this zone will still be capable of producing isolated tornadoes, straight-line wind gusts to 70 mph, large hail, flooding downpours and frequent lightning strikes.

Major cities at risk for severe weather into Sunday night include Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Toledo, Ohio, and Paducah, Kentucky.

Storms farther south on Sunday are likely to be heavy and gusty with isolated, brief severe weather possible from southwestern Kentucky to southern Louisiana. The greatest risk in this corridor will be from flooding due to the saturated nature of the ground.

People traveling on the highways should keep alert for rapidly changing weather conditions.

Motorists should consider fully exiting major highways as storms approach and never attempt to drive through flooded roadways.

People outdoors should seek shelter indoors, away from windows. Picnic pavilions, golf carts and standing beneath trees are dangerous locations during thunderstorms.

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Additionally, severe thunderstorms are popping up across New England and mi-Atlantic and are expected to continue into Sunday night.


Some of these storms can unleash gusty to locally damaging winds and small hail, along with frequent lightning. An isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

Downpours accompanying the storms can drastically reduce visibility for motorists on stretches of interstates 70, 80, 81, 90 and 95.

Anyone outdoors enjoying the summerlike warmth across the region should keep a vigilant eye to the sky. Weather conditions can turn from sunny to stormy in a matter of minutes.

A new round of severe weather, including the potential for tornadoes, will begin to ramp up over the central and southern Plains on Monday. For Tuesday, the risk for severe weather will move north and east towards Missouri and Illinois.

Download the free AccuWeather app to receive severe weather watches and warnings on your mobile device. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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