Quick-moving, gusty storms to race across Upper Midwest

As a new burst of cool air arrives, heavy, gusty thunderstorms will erupt and sweep across parts of the Midwest into Tuesday night and the Northeast on Wednesday, AccuWeather meteorologists say.

The storms cannot only interrupt outdoor plans and make for a tricky commute, but they can pack a punch at the local level as they affect areas from southeastern Minnesota to much of Wisconsin and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana into Tuesday night.

Chicago, Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Lansing, Michigan, are among the major cities that the storms can impact. Brief airline delays are possible as the storms ramp up and pass through the major and secondary hubs in the region.

Many of the storms will occasionally bring lightning strikes, brief downpours and non-damaging wind gusts.

"A few of the storms will be more robust and locally severe, packing hail, frequent lightning strikes and winds strong enough to break tree limbs and trigger sporadic power outages," AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.

Gusts in some of the storms will range between 50 and 60 mph, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ gust of 70 mph. In a handful of cases, enough rain may pour down to lead to street and highway flooding.


The same front will advance across the Northeast on Wednesday. However, the front will accelerate toward the Atlantic as the day progresses, and the storms may not have as much time to grow and become locally severe.

Still, there is the potential for some locally heavy, gusty thunderstorms to be embedded in the shower activity. The showers may begin to produce lightning with little notice. Downpours will likely be the main deterrent to travel and outdoor plans. Motorists should expect delays as the showers and thunderstorms roll through their path.

The new burst of cool air will bring renewed frosts and freezes from the Upper Midwest to much of the Northeast prior to the end of the week.

All eyes will turn toward the Plains states and the Mississippi Valley later this week and this weekend as the first in a series of storm systems rolls out of the West. The first severe thunderstorms in the pattern will erupt late Thursday, but the first big day, in terms of severe weather, will be Friday.

Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be tapped as warmth surges and a strong jet stream roars overhead. The result will be multiple rounds of violent thunderstorms that significantly risk lives and property. The pattern will remain very active well into May in the region.

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