Fox News Weather Center

Severe storm risk to ramp up across north-central US

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Storms with the potential for severe weather will shift from the northern Plains to the Upper Midwest Wednesday and Thursday.

"The storms will bring the risk of strong wind gusts, hail and frequent lightning strikes," according to AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Alex Avalos.

In some cases, gusts can top 70 mph.

A couple of the strongest storms could also produce a short-lived tornado.

Any of the storms will bring the potential for torrential downpours, which can cause flash flooding in some communities, Avalos stated.

As the storms approach major metro areas, travel delays are possible on the highways and at the airports.

"A line of storms will target the Dakotas during Wednesday," Avalos said.

The greatest risk for severe weather in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Rapid City, South Dakota, will be during Wednesday afternoon and evening.

During Wednesday night, the threat for locally violent storms will extend from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Fargo, North Dakota, and Huron, South Dakota.

Locally damaging storms can reach portions of eastern Minnesota to eastern South Dakota during later Wednesday night, possibly including the Minneapolis area.

"On Thursday, a second line of storms will likely develop over the Upper Midwest," Avalos said.

The storms threat will reach parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan during Thursday.

The risk for severe weather will extend to Des Moines, Iowa; Madison, Wisconsin; Omaha, Nebraska; Marquette, Michigan; Milwaukee and Chicago during Thursday afternoon and night.

On Friday the potential for heavy to locally severe storms will stretch from the eastern Great Lakes to the Ohio and middle Mississippi valleys.

A significant push of cooler and less humid air will follow the storms. High temperatures in the upper 80s F to near 90 will be replaced with highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s.