Damaging Winds, Downpours To Target Chicago, Indianapolis Tuesday

severe thunderstorms
Severe thunderstorms to strike Chicago and Indianapolis Tuesday evening. (AccuWeather)

By Alex Sosnowski,
Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

Cold air, snow potential to return to northeastern US this weekend

AccuWeather Global Weather Center-(ENEWSPF)- AccuWeather reports severe thunderstorms will erupt across the midwestern United States on Tuesday and may threaten outdoor activities into late this week.

The ingredients are coming together for a round of potent storms on Tuesday across parts of the region, including in Chicago and Indianapolis.

Heavy and gusty thunderstorms to strike Midwest Tuesday

A storm system tracking across the Plains will trigger the severe storms, AccuWeather Meteorologist Becky Elliot said.

“Damaging winds and large hail will be the biggest threats with these storms, although an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out,” she said.

Motorists making the evening commute home may face these storms on Tuesday evening. In Chicago, the timing will set up for blinding downpours and gusty winds, making for hazardous travel.

The storms will push farther east on Tuesday night, eventually reaching Indianapolis. Wind gusts will be strong enough to bring down trees, wires and blow loose items around.

The storms may disrupt primary election activities in Illinois and Missouri on Tuesday due to rain and thunderstorms.

Heavy rain will also extend northward and eastward affecting Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario on Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Despite thunderstorms coming to an end on Tuesday night, howling winds will continue through Wednesday and could still cause problems with winds occasionally gusting to 45 mph.

Chilly air and wet snow to return across the Plains

Severe storms will be replaced with chilly air and wet snow for the second half of the week in the Plains.

The recent springlike warmth will be put to an end during the second half of this week for much of the north-central U.S. as colder air is pulled southward from Canada.

pattern change later this week.
Pattern change later this week. (AccuWeather)

Highs in the 50s and 60s will be replaced with high temperatures only in the 30s and 40s for Thursday and Friday across the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa. Temperatures at night will drop back down into the 20s and 30s.

Factoring in a brisk northerly wind, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be much lower across this area.

While astronomical spring doesn’t begin until next week, the recent warmth has made it feel more like spring and less like winter in this area.

“This slow-moving storm will bring a prolonged period of light snow to the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin beginning Wednesday,” Elliott said.

With most of the days above freezing and the sun angle increasing each day, accumulations are expected to remain low and confined to non-paved surfaces.

Travel should not be impacted too greatly as roadways will remain just wet wherever snow does fall. Visibility could be low at times. Motorists and pedestrians should be on alert for wet spots that turn icy at night.

This storm system will help bring a pattern change to much of the central United States that will feature a stretch of cooler days lasting through the first week of spring.