DISASTERS

Forecasters warn hail, damaging winds, tornado or 2 possible over broad area of Midwest

  • In this Thursday, April 9, 2015 photo provided by the Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Office are vehicles that became partially submerged in flood water due to heavy rain in Port Washigton, Wisconsin. Official said no one was hurt and the road was closed. (Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

    In this Thursday, April 9, 2015 photo provided by the Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Office are vehicles that became partially submerged in flood water due to heavy rain in Port Washigton, Wisconsin. Official said no one was hurt and the road was closed. (Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bobby Buskell , center, and a crew from All State Tree Service Inc. clean up damage from a lighting strike of a home in Southfield, Mich.,  on Thursday, April 9, 2015.  The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorms are possible into early Friday, packing damaging wind gusts, heavy downpours and hail. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Brandy Baker)  DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

    Bobby Buskell , center, and a crew from All State Tree Service Inc. clean up damage from a lighting strike of a home in Southfield, Mich., on Thursday, April 9, 2015. The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorms are possible into early Friday, packing damaging wind gusts, heavy downpours and hail. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Brandy Baker) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Neighbors Robert Frye, left, and Barry Winkler help clean up splintered tree parts that blasted into their yards after a storm passed the area in Southfield, Mich.,  on Thursday, April 9, 2015.  The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorms are possible into early Friday, packing damaging wind gusts, heavy downpours and hail. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Brandy Baker)  DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

    Neighbors Robert Frye, left, and Barry Winkler help clean up splintered tree parts that blasted into their yards after a storm passed the area in Southfield, Mich., on Thursday, April 9, 2015. The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorms are possible into early Friday, packing damaging wind gusts, heavy downpours and hail. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Brandy Baker) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT  (The Associated Press)

Strong storms in the Southern Plains overnight are offering a preview of bad weather expected in major cities across the Midwest later in the day.

The Storm Prediction Center says 57 million people live in an area with an "enhanced risk" of large hail, damaging winds and possibly tornadoes Thursday afternoon and evening. A handful of tornadoes were reported Wednesday, but mostly in rural areas of Kansas and Oklahoma, where the storms caused minimal damage.

Emergency managers and forecasters urged residents to know what to do if bad weather approached, including where to take shelter.

Thursday's worst weather was expected from the Chicago and Detroit areas southwestward to near Dallas.