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Weekend Storm Battle Zone to Span Midwest, Mid-Atlantic

A zone of showers and thunderstorms will set up shop from the Midwest to part of the mid-Atlantic and the South this weekend.

Locations from Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis to Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Nashville will be in the zone where showers and thunderstorms can occur at any time.

People spending time outdoors at picnics, ballgames, fishing, golfing or swimming may have to dodge some raindrops and run for cover on more than one occasion this weekend within this swath. Lightning will be a concern as well.

There will be long episodes when it is not raining, but guarantees cannot be made as to which part of the day will be dry. While most of the downpours will occur during the afternoon and evening, there will be some exceptions.

AccuWeather.com MinuteCast™ has the minute-by-minute forecast for your exact location when showers and thunderstorms threaten in the short term. Type your city name, select MinuteCast™ and input your street address. On mobile, you can also use your GPS location.

The showers and thunderstorms will continue to fire and repeat along a northwest to southeast zone, which will separate cool air and low humidity in the Northeast from hot, humid air over the central Plains, lower Mississippi Valley and the Deep South.

Most of the storms in this zone will not be severe, but a few communities can be hit hard by repeating downpours, causing flash and urban flooding and a smaller number of storms can bring brief strong wind gusts that can knock down trees and cause sporadic power outages.

The greatest risk for large areas of severe weather will be over the central Plains this weekend, where there can be incidents of large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes.

This is the time of year when it is rather easy for an average shower to become a thunderstorm with little notice. This is most likely during the afternoon and evening, due to heating of the day.

Be sure to keep an eye out for rapidly changing weather conditions and ears open for thunder. If you can hear thunder, you are at risk for being struck by lightning. Seek shelter indoors away from windows as storms approach.