Severe storms to elevate flood threat, strike at night in midwestern US

As additional thunderstorms erupt, the risk of severe weather and flash flooding will continue across parts of the midwestern United States through the middle of the week.

Parts of the upper Mississippi and Ohio valleys, as well as portions of the Great Lakes, will continue to be hit by showers and thunderstorms on a daily basis.

Areas that are hit by repeating downpours will be at greatest risk for flash flooding.

Radar estimates indicate that 6 inches of rain has fallen in 24 hours on portions of Indiana, Ohio and Illinois as of early Tuesday. Similar rainfall is possible on a daily basis in part of the Midwest.

Storms are also forecast to turn locally violent over part of the Upper Midwest on Tuesday night.

"During Tuesday evening, we expect severe storms to fire across northern Minnesota and move southeastward," according to AccuWeather Lead Storm Warning Meteorologist Eddie Walker.

Minneapolis and Milwaukee will be at risk for severe weather Tuesday night.

"The severe storms are likely to dive southeastward across Wisconsin on late Tuesday night and may reach western portions of Michigan by early Wednesday morning," Walker said.

The storms may keep some people and pets awake Tuesday night, but there will be more to them besides downpours, thunder and lightning in some areas.

The strongest storms will carry the potential of high wind gusts, torrential rain, hail and a small number of tornadoes.

Some communities may be hit with frequent lightning strikes, power outages, tree and property damage and flash flooding.

Because of the risk of severe weather during the overnight hours, people should have a means to receive weather bulletins, such as a cell phone, weather radio or smart TV.

"During Wednesday, we expect storms to re-fire around the lower Great Lakes, become locally severe during the afternoon and evening hours," Walker said.

The risk of locally heavy and gusty storms will extend as far east as northern Pennsylvania and central New York state, and as far west as Nebraska and northern Kansas on Wednesday.

The major metro areas of Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland could be adversely affected by storms on Wednesday. Significant travel delays are possible.

On Thursday, the zone of heavy, gusty and locally severe storms will stretch even farther to the east and west, while drifting southward. Areas from the eastern slopes of the central Rockies to southern New England and the upper part of the mid-Atlantic region will be in the zone where potentially severe thunderstorms are most likely to erupt.

Through Thursday, the storms will fire and move along the boundary separating cool and sticky air to the north from hot and very humid air to the south.

If possible, seek shelter indoors and keep away from windows as storms approach. A hard-top, metal vehicle can offer some protection. However, picnic pavilions, convertibles and golf carts do not offer adequate protection from lightning.

Never drive through a flooded roadway. The road surface may have been wash away. Less than 2 feet of water can cause your vehicle to float and be carried downstream.