This NOAA satellite image taken Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 01:45 PM EDT shows fairly widespread cloud cover over parts of the Southeast, particularly the Central Gulf Coast. An ample pool of moisture ... more 
This NOAA satellite image taken Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 01:45 PM EDT shows fairly widespread cloud cover over parts of the Southeast, particularly the Central Gulf Coast. An ample pool of moisture and small disturbances spark heavy rain along the Central Gulf Coast through the afternoon. More showers and thunderstorms are visible to the east of this activity. These storms are associated with a broad area of low pressure located about 125 miles east of Melbourne, Florida. This system has a medium chance, 40 percent, of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next couple of days as it moves little. Meanwhile, a few showers and periods of heavy rain develops in the southern Ohio Valley and parts of the Tennessee Valley. Elsewhere, hot weather plagues the Plains and the Mississippi Valleys this afternoon as a strong ridge of high pressure lingers over the region. Daytime highs in these regions reach into the upper 80s, 90s, and 100s. Strong humidity and daytime heating allows heat index values in these regions to reach near 120 degrees. Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories are in effect for much of the Plains, Mississippi Valleys, and parts of the Ohio Valley. Finally, hot and humid conditions combined with an approaching cold front from the north triggers moderate chances of severe weather development in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. A slight risk of severe thunderstorm development also remains over the Northern Plains, Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Upper Great Lakes. The main threats with these storms are hail, damaging wind, and tornadoes. Intense storms with damaging wind are also expected in parts of New England tonight. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND) less 
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Associated Press
Sun, Jul 17, 2011 2:58 PM EDT