The risk of severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, will continue over the Central states and will begin to shift eastward and expand northward on Thursday and Thursday night.
Following violent storms from Wednesday, thunderstorms on Thursday will stretch from northeastern Texas to southern Wisconsin, lower Michigan and southwestern Ontario. The storms have the potential to be severe within this swath, home to approximately 60 million people.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, "The risk of tornadoes will affect parts of Illinois, Indiana and Missouri, which represent a fairly heavy population density."
"The risk on Thursday includes the metro areas of Chicago and St. Louis," Margusity said.
The storms can bring damaging wind gusts, large hail, frequent lightning and blinding downpours in some communities. A small number of the storms can produce a tornado.
Other cities that have the potential to be hit by damaging, dangerous and disruptive storms on Thursday include Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Dallas.
There is a chance locally severe storms may reach as far to the northeast as Detroit, Cleveland and London, Ontario, on Thursday evening.
In addition to the dangerous aspect of the storms, travel disruptions ranging from blinding rain and flooded roadways to flight delays and cancellations are likely. Chicago's O'Hare Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. People should allow extra time to get to their destinations.
"The severe weather outbreak [spanning multiple days this week] will include hundreds of incidents of damage from wind and hail, as well as perhaps a number of dangerous tornadoes," Margusity said.
Heavy, gusty and locally severe thunderstorms are likely to continue to push eastward on Friday, venturing east of the Appalachians and approaching the Atlantic coast. A similar risk will extend southward to the central and western Gulf coast.
AccuWeather will continue to provide updates on the unfolding severe storm and tornado threat through the week.