As mentioned in a post on Monday, the potential exists for a significant wind damage event from late this afternoon into this evening and tonight over a large portion of the Midwest and Ohio Valley region. The area at greatest risk is within the yellow shaded and lavender hatched area on the above image, which includes the cities of Chicago, Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne and Columbus.
The activity may initially begin with one or more isolated, supercell type storms, particularly over extreme eastern Iowa into northern Illinois, where a strong tornado or two cannot be ruled out before the activity congeals into a larger complex later this evening.
Once the larger bow echo and/or thunderstorm complex forms, it will race East/Southeastward, producing very damaging winds in excess of hurricane force over a potentially large area across the Ohio Valley region into tonight. People across this region should prepare for the possibility of extended duration power outages as a result of the widespread high wind threat.
If you live across this region, please be very alert from mid to late afternoon into the evening and nighttime hours. Make sure that you have a way to receive weather warnings, including during the overnight hours tonight.
Due to the potential intensity of the wind with these storms, this is one of those rare situations where I would recommend that you treat a Severe Thunderstorm Warning the same way that you would treat a Tornado Warning. Seek shelter below ground if possible, or in a small interior room away from outside walls and windows until the storm passes your location.
The threat of severe weather will shift Southeast into the Mid-Atlantic and Delmarva regions on Thursday, with widespread wind damage possible once again, especially within the reddish-orange shaded area on the image below:
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