Severe weather threat for 60 million, strong storms likely from Texas to Wisconsin

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Tens of millions of Americans from Texas up toward the Great Lakes face the threat of severe weather Tuesday, including the risk of hail, winds that could reach hurricane force, and some tornadoes.

A weather system moving into the Plains is expected to spark widespread thunderstorms stretching from central Texas to the Mississippi River Valley and into the Midwest.

"If you live across portions of the Plains states up towards the Midwest, you need to pay close attention to your local weather forecast as well as your watches and warnings, because we have another round of strong storms, including large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes that are going to stretch from Texas all the way up towards the Great Lakes," Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean said Tuesday on "Fox & Friends First."

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According to the National Weather Service's (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC), at least 60 million Americans will be threatened by that severe weather throughout the day, including those in major cities like Oklahoma City, Houston, the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Austin, Kansas City, Mo., St. Louis, and Madison, Wis.

The threat for severe weather on Tuesday stretches from Texas to the Great Lakes.

The threat for severe weather on Tuesday stretches from Texas to the Great Lakes. (Fox News)

Storms could reach Chicago, Milwaukee and Memphis, Tenn., later in the day.

Forecasters said a "moderate" risk of severe weather, the second-highest on the SPC's rating scale, exists in Eastern Oklahoma, Northeast Texas, and Western Arkansas. Some 1.8 million people in this region, including cities such as Tulsa, Okla., and Fort Smith, Ark., are under a moderate risk, according to the SPC.

"We have that bull's-eye there, where we could see the potential for long-track, dangerous, potentially life-threatening tornadoes," Dean said.

A damaging squall line is forecast to develop by Tuesday afternoon, moving east.

A damaging squall line is forecast to develop by Tuesday afternoon, moving east. (Fox News)

Storms are expected to develop during the afternoon hours, with a potentially damaging squall line over eastern Oklahoma before it surges south into Northeast Texas.

"Severe winds will likely materialize as the frontal squall line matures and surges south," the SPC said.

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It should spread into Northeast Texas, possibly into the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex during the evening hours.

The NWS' Weather Prediction Center (WPC) said that the threat of damaging thunderstorm winds is "especially high."

"A damaging squall line is expected, with perhaps hurricane-force winds in some places, along with wind-driven hail," forecasters noted.

Thunderstorms are forecast to develop across the Mississippi River Valley by Tuesday afternoon. Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes are possible as they develop.

"That's going to continue throughout the afternoon into the overnight," Dean said on "Fox & Friends First."

They could bring excessive rainfall and flash-flooding, as some storms may produce 2 inches of rain in just 45 minutes.

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Storms are forecast to move east into the overnight hours, with the threat lingering into early Wednesday.

Severe thunderstorms are forecast across the Plains and into the Midwest on Tuesday.

Severe thunderstorms are forecast across the Plains and into the Midwest on Tuesday. (Fox News)

"So we're going to be talking about the threat for severe storms this time tomorrow, unfortunately, as these lines really potentially get volatile over the evening hours into the overnight," Dean said.

The severe weather threat shifts to the Southeast by Wednesday.

The severe weather threat shifts to the Southeast by Wednesday. (Fox News)

Scattered storms will be a threat again on Wednesday for the Gulf Coast and Southeast.

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"Some of the same areas that have been hit hard over the last few weeks," Dean said.