By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 26,2017, 9:48:16PM,EDT
The latest round of severe thunderstorms packing heavy rain and high winds will roll across the Midwest and part of the Plains through Thursday.The storms and downpours will affect some communities dealing with ongoing high water and still cleaning up from storms earlier this month. Travel will slow to a crawl as storms cross major thoroughfares, and airline delays will mount as storms approach the major hubs.
The storms through Thursday will carry an elevated risk of flooding and damaging winds. A few communities may also be hit with hail. The risk of a couple of isolated tornadoes will also exist where the sun is out for at least a few hours.
"The storms will roll through a heavily populated area of the central United States and are likely to impact several major metro areas through Thursday," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts.
"People should be prepared for falling trees, power outages, flash flooding and travel delays as the storms move through," Eherts said.
Part of the metro areas of St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee could be affected by a heavy, gusty storm before daybreak on Thursday.
AccuWeather Severe Weather Center
The difference between tornado watches and warnings
Preparing for the costliest weather disaster in the US: How to stay safe before, during and after a flood
Since some of the storms will move through at a fast pace, some people will be at risk for being caught outdoors and motorists may face rapidly changing conditions on the road, Eherts added.
The risk of flash flooding will continue on Thursday, but will generally focus north of the Ohio River.
Cities that may face travel disruptions and/or localized damage from torrential rainfall on Thursday include St. Louis, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
Areas farther south will have the greatest potential for damaging wind gusts.
Evansville, Indiana; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia; and Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky may face a greater risk for storms with damaging winds and isolated tornadoes, in addition to a flash flooding threat.
The potential for severe thunderstorms and flash flooding will also expand into the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic states on Thursday and Friday.
Locally severe storms are possible in parts of Virginia during Thursday afternoon and evening.
A rare late-July rainstorm may drench much of the mid-Atlantic on Friday and Friday night.
A large batch of cooler and less humid air will settle southeastward across the northern Plains and Midwest to end the week. This air will end the threat of severe weather for a two- to four-day stretch.