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Intense storms to cluster in central Plains, Ohio Valley into Tuesday night

By Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather meteorologist
June 12, 2018, 8:01:44 PM EDT

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The threat for strong-to-severe storms will focus on two distinct regions into Tuesday night: the south-central Plains and the Ohio Valley.

Two separate systems will be responsible for the clusters of powerful storms, the more intense of which should target the Plains.

Although much of the day was dry over the Plains, storms are forecast to develop explosively into the early Tuesday night.

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“Within the first few hours of forming over the High Plains, the main threats will be large hail, damaging winds and flooding downpours,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Michael Doll.

Doll warned that the hailstones can grow big enough in the strongest storms to break windows and dent vehicles and that wind gusts could exceed 60 mph.

Winds of this magnitude are more than enough to bring down trees and power lines as well as blow shingles off roofs and cause property damage.

Areas that should be impacted by the storms before sunset include the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, southwestern Kansas and eastern Colorado.

It is the storms that fire up in eastern Colorado that are expected to merge into a complex and move eastward across southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma Tuesday night.

“Damaging winds and flash flooding will become the main threats during the overnight hours,” Doll added.

Cities that may lie in the path of storms overnight include Wichita, Kansas; and potentially Oklahoma City.

These storms will be capable of producing several inches of rain in a short amount of time.

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Residents living along small streams and creeks should remain cognizant of the situation and be prepared to seek higher ground in the case of a flash flood.

“While flooding is a concern, the rain is very much needed across this part of the country, since most of the region is suffering from severe to exceptional drought,” said Doll.

Just over 1 inch of rain has fallen in Amarillo, Texas, this year, which is only 15 percent of normal through June 11.

In areas not impacted by flooding, the rain will be quite beneficial and help to green up pastures, add moisture to the soil and stimulate crop growth across the region.

More drenching storms to target the Ohio Valley

While storms in the Ohio Valley are not expected to reach the same intensity, they can potentially pose the greater risk for flash flooding.

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Because areas from eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky to Ohio and parts of West Virginia received an excessive amount of rainfall in the past month, it will only take 1-2 inches of rain in a three-hour time period to trigger flooding concerns.

Motorists should reduce speed in heavy, blinding downpours to minimize the risk for hydroplaning and seek an alternate route if water covers the road ahead.

A new storm system diving southward toward the Northeast will raise the risk of violent storms from western New York through western Pennsylvania on Wednesday ahead of a surge of cooler air.

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