Fox News Weather Center

Severe thunderstorms to rip through midwestern US Friday

Potent thunderstorms will threaten a portion of the midwestern United States with destructive winds and isolated tornadoes into Friday night.

In some communities, the storms will be strong enough to down trees and power lines and cause power outages. The most intense storms could cause structural damage.

The thunderstorms will ignite along the sharp dividing line between record warmth to the east and cold air plunging southward from the north and west.

During Friday afternoon, areas from Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana, to Detroit, Nashville and Cincinnati will be at risk for dangerous thunderstorms.

Severe storms 2.24 AM

The thunderstorms will gust eastward into Cleveland, Pittsburgh and the central and southern Appalachians during Friday night.

The primary threats from the storms will be torrential downpours, damaging winds and hail.

"It is possible that a couple of the strongest storms produce an isolated tornado,” AccuWeather Storm Warning Meteorologist Brian Knopick said.

Residents should keep a wary eye to the sky and seek shelter indoors immediately after the first rumble of thunder or stroke of lightning. A seemingly warm and tranquil afternoon can turn dangerous in a matter of minutes.

“People, including school officials, will need to monitor severe weather bulletins as they are issued especially for activities during the afternoon and evening hours,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Loose outdoor items should be secured or brought inside as sudden thunderstorm winds can turn them into dangerous projectiles.

Motorists will face rapidly changing roadway conditions during the afternoon and evening hours. This includes short- and long-term travelers along interstates 40, 64, 65, 70 and 75, to name a few.

T-storms Sat mid-Atlantic

The storms can still pack a punch in terms of locally damaging winds and downpours across the mid-Atlantic on Saturday.