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Fox News Weather Center

Severe Weather Targets Oklahoma City, St. Louis on Tuesday

A strengthening storm system will produce widespread severe weather across a large portion of the Central U.S. into Tuesday night.

"Severe storms will erupt ahead of a surface cold front, the dividing line between a current warm, moist, summerlike air mass and an approaching cool, dry, fall-like air mass," AccuWeather Meteorologist John Searles said.

Cities at risk for severe storms on Tuesday include Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa; Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Wichita and Lawrence, Kansas; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Amarillo, Texas.

Breaking: Stormy Conditions in the Central US

"Damaging wind gusts and heavy rainfall will be the main threats with these storms, however, there may be enough rotation within the atmosphere to spawn a few tornadoes," AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said.

Travel will become dangerous at times along a nearly 800-mile stretch of Interstate 35. Travel may also become tricky across interstates 40, 44, 70 and 80.

"Even if flooding does not ensue, downpours will pose hazards to motorists by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds. Airline passengers in the path of the storms should prepare for potential flight delays," AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

"Heavy thunderstorms will push eastward on Tuesday night into Illinois, eastern Missouri, northern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma," Travis said.

Cities at risk for a strong thunderstorm on Tuesday night include Springfield, Illinois; St. Louis; and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Thunderstorms are expected to move into Chicago by late on Tuesday night and early on Wednesday morning, at a time where storms will be their weakest. While the threat for any severe weather will be low, storms could still be gusty.

The arrival of storms on Tuesday night could lead to weather delays for the MLB matchup between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.

Know when storms will hit by using ​AccuWeather Minutecast®. It has a minute-by-minute forecast for your exact location. Type your city name, select Minutecast® and input your street address. Mobile users can also use their GPS location.

North of this area of severe weather, a soaking rain will occur from South Dakota into Minnesota. Rainfall could reach 3 inches in some areas.

"There will be the potential for localized flash flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas," Searles said.

This powerful storm will march eastward on Wednesday and spread severe weather from Michigan to Arkansas.

Behind this storm system, much cooler and less humid air will build into the area. High temperatures are expected to be between 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit lower on Wednesday in some spots.

Temperatures on Wednesday will be more typical of the end of September than the middle of August.

Some locations across Iowa, eastern Oklahoma and southwestern Missouri may fail to get out of the 60s. The rest of the region will observe daytime highs in the 70s.

Record-low temperatures may be challenged across a part of the central U.S. on Wednesday night, including Oklahoma City.

Windy conditions will also build in behind the front. Winds could gust over 40 mph in locations such as Minneapolis, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday.

These windy conditions, combined with a soaking ground, could lead to downed trees. Should these trees also knock down power lines, it could lead to sporadic power outages.