Violent thunderstorms will rumble across a wide, highly populated corridor of the Midwest and Plains from Minnesota to Texas on Thursday and Thursday night. Nearly 40 million people live within the severe storm risk area.
Storms will be ongoing from Kansas to Texas early Thursday, before expanding in coverage and intensity into the afternoon, from the Upper Midwest to the southern Plains.
"The greatest concern for severe weather will be from the mid-afternoon into the evening," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Scott Breit said.
The upcoming severe weather is on the heels of a recent devastating five-day severe storm outbreak. Similar to that outbreak, tornadoes will be among the threats, but they are expected to be more isolated.
"The severe weather event Thursday will include damaging wind gusts to 70 mph, large hail, flash flooding and even isolated tornadoes," Breit said.
The severe weather will evolve from a wide-reaching, slow-moving storm system that will combine with powerful winds aloft and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico.
"Minneapolis and Lacrosse, Wisconsin, will be included in the northern extent of the threat zone, but Chicago and Milwaukee will not," Breit said. "In the southern extent of the threat, areas from Oklahoma City to Dallas could be hit with severe storms, especially from late afternoon into the evening."
Those living or traveling in the threat zone should pay close attention to severe weather warnings throughout the day.
If you hear thunder, seek shelter. If you plan to travel along I-35, between Minneapolis to Oklahoma City, be prepared for blinding downpours and ponding of water.
Highways, including I-80, from Davenport, Iowa, to Omaha, Nebraska, and I-70, from just west of St. Louis, Missouri, to Kansas City, Missouri, will also be impacted by the adverse weather.
Multiple severe storms can repeatedly hit some communities on Thursday and Thursday night, so residents are urged to stay alert after the first round of violent storms.
As the storm system moves farther east on Friday, the severe threat will fade. Flooding rain will become the primary threat from the Tennessee Valley to the central Gulf Coast.