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Fox News Weather Center

Severe Storms and Heavy Rain Friday for Chicago, St. Louis

Strong to severe thunderstorms will fire up once again on Friday across the Midwest, bringing damaging winds, hail and the threat for tornadoes.

Severe thunderstorms will threaten Kansas City, Tulsa and Oklahoma City on Friday, and may impact the evening commute in Chicago and St. Louis. The storms will then push eastward toward Detroit and Indianapolis Friday night.

The storms will develop out ahead of a cold front moving through the Plains states.

Just like the past several days, the strongest storms will have the potential to produce tornadoes. The biggest concern for tornadoes will be from northeastern Oklahoma into southwestern Missouri, where some could be strong during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Large hail will be another big threat, especially from Oklahoma to Missouri. There were reports of softball-sized hail with a few storms Thursday, and some storms Friday will have the potential to produce hail at least the size of baseballs. Hail this size can cause damage to homes and cars, and can also injure people caught outside.

Farther north from St. Louis to Chicago and Milwaukee, the main threats will be damaging winds and hail. Even in these areas, though, an isolated tornado or two can be expected.

Flooding will also continue to be a widespread problem from Oklahoma all the way up into Illinois. The ground is already saturated from persistent drenching thunderstorms that produced heavy rainfall over the past several days,

Many rivers, creeks and streams are already high, and additional rainfall Friday will add to flooding concerns.

As the cold front slides eastward Saturday, the threat for severe weather will shift into the Ohio and mid-Mississippi valleys.

There still could be a few strong thunderstorms around Chicago and St. Louis on Saturday, but the main focus for severe weather will be around Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville and Little Rock.