Dangerous Storms Moving Toward Chicago Area
UPDATED 8:45 PM CDT, July 18, 2012
UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal
A wave of dangerous thunderstorms has largely wound down across the East this evening, but not before striking a blow from Maryland to Massachusetts. While the threat has diminished there, the same can`t be said in the Midwest, where metro Chicago is still bracing for powerful storms.
The storms are thanks to a slow-moving cold front that is settling southward across the Great Lakes and Northeast. Hot and humid air is located to the south of this front and is fueling disturbances that continue to pummel the northern tier.
The strongest disturbance is located in southern Wisconsin, and will ride along the front this evening toward the shores of Lake Michigan. This will put its crosshairs clearly onto Milwaukee and Chicago, and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect this evening. The greatest threat with any of these storms will be gusty winds of 55 to 65 mph, although quarter-sized hail can`t be ruled out.
These storms are the culmination of a stormy day from the Plains to the East Coast. Egg to golf-ball sized hail pounded eastern New England, with the largest hail near Providence, R.I. Two people were injured when a tree fell on a vehicle near Spartanburg, S.C., and a similar incident injured one in Connelly Springs, N.C. Gusts to 62 mph were recorded in Dover, Del. Tree damage has been widespread, stretching from northern Virginia to eastern Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, a 63 mph gust pummeled Dent, Ohio, while a 65 mph gust was recorded in Calmar, Iowa. A hay wagon was blown over in Highland, Wis., an one person was injured when a tree fell on their head in Mount Horeb, Wis., in a 71 mph gust. Rockford, Ill., reported a 70 mph recently.
The disturbance will continue to slide along the front overnight, bringing some rainfall into Indiana and Ohio. It will reach the Mid-Atlantic on Thursday just as temperatures are climbing into the 80s and lower 90s. This will be plenty of fuel for a few more strong to severe thunderstorms.
The slow-moving nature of any thunderstorms could render incredible rainfall accumulations in a short time span. Though most will only produce up to one-half inch, a few will be capable of producing 1 to 3 inches. The outcome will be an increased risk for flash flooding. Remember, if you approach a flooded roadway, it is best to, "Turn Around, Don`t Drown!"
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