Storms to rattle Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Ontario into Friday evening

Alex Sosnowski

Thunderstorms are forecast to ramp up into the early evening hours on Friday with the potential to disrupt travel and outdoor plans around the central Great Lakes region.

In addition to the likelihood of brief downpours and gusty winds, lightning strikes can pose a danger for those outdoors.

Sports fans and officials should keep alert for rapidly changing weather conditions and remain inside vehicles, under bleachers or seek shelter indoors until storms pass through. Most storms should not last more than an hour, while some may only last several minutes.

A small number of the storms can bring strong enough wind gusts to break tree limbs and cause sporadic power outages.

Incidents of urban flooding cannot be ruled out along streets and stretches of highway that drain poorly.

There is a remote chance of a brief spin-up tornado in a couple of the strongest storms, which may also produce hail.

The storms will affect the major metro areas of Detroit; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio; and perhaps London, Ontario. Storms may expand their reach southward to affect Indianapolis and Dayton and Columbus, Ohio, as well. Motorists and airline passengers should anticipate delays as the storms approach and move through.

The storms are pulsing along the leading edge of a push of slightly drier and cooler air. However, cooling behind the storms will be limited as the air is not entirely from Canada.

As a result, don't expect cold winds to follow. Instead, the region can expect sunny and delightful conditions on Saturday with nearly picture-perfect weather for outdoor plans.

Warmth is forecast to build over the region later in the weekend to early next week.

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