Get AccuWeather alerts right in your browser!
Enable Notifications
Flash Flood Watch

Violent storms, tornadoes to threaten 1,000-mile swath of central US

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 19, 2019, 11:28:32 PM EDT

Click here for live reports on the severe weather.

Severe thunderstorms, including the potential for tornadoes, will exist along a 1,000-mile swath of the central United States into Wednesday night.

While damaging thunderstorms may only affect a fraction of this zone and tornadoes are likely to only affect a tiny fraction, many locations within the swath from Indiana and central Ohio to central Texas and northern Louisiana can expect to be hit with torrential downpours, gusty winds and frequent lightning strikes.

Severe Central 3 pm

The stronger storms in this zone can produce wind gusts to 70 mph, hail the size of golf balls, flash flooding and perhaps a tornado.

The danger is that these violent conditions may strike a heavily populated area.

Major cities are in the path of severe thunderstorms into Wednesday night. These include Dallas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Nashville, Tennessee; Tupelo, Mississippi; St. Louis; Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis; and Cincinnati.

Motorists along major highways such as Interstate 30, I-40, I-55 and I-70 should keep alert for approaching severe weather that may cause blinding rain and flash flooding.

Flood Risk Thru Wed

"Eastern Missouri and southern Illinois may have some of the more robust thunderstorms," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.

The difference between tornado watches and warnings
7 lightning safety tips if you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm
Preparing for severe weather: How to protect your car from thousands of dollars in hail damage
What you should do if you get stuck driving in floodwaters

"Farther south, another complex of severe thunderstorms will develop across southeastern Oklahoma," Rossio said.

"In the biggest storms over the southern Plains, hail to the size of baseballs may bombard some communities."

The severe weather outbreak is being produced by the caboose in a train of storm systems that have pestered areas from the Plains to the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic since this past weekend.

This last storm in the series is the strongest of the bunch and hence is anticipated to produce the most significant and widespread batch of severe weather of the train.

On Thursday, the main focus of severe weather, including a tornado risk, will be in the Eastern states including along part of the heavily populated corridor from near New York City to Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.

While the weather is forecast to be more quiet in the swath from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley on Thursday, a new round of severe weather is forecast to erupt farther north over portions of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and northern Missouri on Friday.

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

Podcast banner for news stories

Report a Typo


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News