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Severe Storms Target Midwest

4:45 PM CDT, October 5, 2013

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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After a major late-season severe weather outbreak rocked the Eastern Plains on Friday, additional storms today will push farther to the east. Luckily, today`s severe weather threat will also be somewhat more limited.

The culprit for all of this active weather is a potent autumn storm that is trudging across the Northern Plains. In fact, this same system is responsible for dumping heavy snow across the northern Rockies and High Plains Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Attached to this storm is a warm front that will lift north into the Great Lakes today. This will open the door for southerly winds to transport moisture-rich, unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico to the Midwest. With this unstable air mass in place, fresh thunderstorms will begin to erupt across the Midwest this afternoon as a cold front pushes east across the region.

Today`s severe weather will primarily affect the Mid-Mississippi Valley north to the western Great Lakes, from northeastern Arkansas to central Wisconsin. This will include cities such as Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Paducah, Ky. Later in the evening, locations like Louisville, Ky., and Cincinnati could see strong-to-severe storms. The primary threat from the storms will be wind gusts up to 60 mph, although isolated large hail will also be possible. In addition, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out across Wisconsin either.

On Friday there were 72 reports of severe weather across the Midwest. This included 18 reported tornadoes, including one that injured 14 people in Wayne, Neb. There was also a report of 3 homes destroyed in Macy, Neb., while baseball size hail pummeled Pacific Junction, Iowa.

If your plans take you outdoors, make sure that you download WeatherBug on your smart phone or tablet. The mobile apps now include Spark Lightning Alerts, a GPS-based lightning detection feature providing you the location of the closest lightning strike, so you can Know Before the storm hits. Click here to download it.

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