Severe weather hazards to threaten Ohio Valley through end of week

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AccuWeather meteorologists will be monitoring portions of the Midwest for severe thunderstorms in the upcoming days, as the threat from Thursday will shift farther south and east on Friday.

Multiple thunderstorms impacted western Iowa with high winds Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, a much larger area will be at risk into Thursday night, and wind may not be the only hazard.

After a quiet midday, Thursday evening will turn stormy for the area as afternoon thunderstorms in Iowa, southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin and slice southeastward.

As the storms initially form, large hail will be the primary threat. In addition, isolated tornadoes are not out of the question.

Later into the evening and overnight, two separate rounds of thunderstorms may move across northern Iowa and southern Wisconsin. Davenport, Iowa and Milwaukee are just two locations at risk of severe weather.

Once the clusters of storms develop and become organized, the main hazard will shift to the high winds and heavy rain, particularly for areas that are dealt more than one thunderstorm.

"The main risks will be flooding downpours and damaging wind gusts for this part of the country," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards.

Any torrential rain could cause ponding on roadways. Motorists along interstates 35, 39, 80 and 90 will need to slow down and allow extra time to avoid hydroplaning.

The storms will continue to move east late Thursday night, with Chicago and Springfield, Illinois; and South Bend, Indiana, at risk for very high winds. The winds may be strong enough to cause power outages and even minor property damage.

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"Some of the strongest thunderstorms could produce wind gusts as high as an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 90 mph," cautioned Richards.

With the storms coming overnight in many areas, residents will need to have a way to get woken up if a warning is issued for their location.

The storms are expected to gradually weaken as they continue to move farther eastward into Michigan and Ohio by Friday morning. However, the threat will not end there.

"A cold front will march south and east on Friday, causing severe thunderstorms to form across the Ohio River Valley and into western Pennsylvania," stated Richards.

Indianapolis, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are a few cities that may have to contend with severe weather to end the week. The storms will develop during the mid-afternoon hours and dive southward toward the Ohio River by evening. Hail, flooding, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes could occur as far south as northern Kentucky before the storms weaken later at night.

Isolated thunderstorms may affect portions of the Northeast Saturday. While heavy downpours and locally gusty winds are possible, widespread severe weather is not expected.

Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.

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