AccuWeather.com Latest Updates:
12:00 p.m. EDT: A gust front with winds up to 60 mph has slammed Charleston, W. Va. Multiple trees and power lines have been downed. Downpours and frequent lightning strikes were moving southward across the metro area at this time. Strong gusty and storms will roll into Beckley, W.Va. and perhaps the Roanoke, Va. area during the afternoon.
11:00 a.m. EDT: Storms have pushed into southeastern Ohio, West Virginia and western Virginia.
Generally, storms have weakened for now, but with heating of the day storms will turn dangerous across eastern parts of the Ohio Valley and Appalachians into this afternoon. Southern Ohio to northern Georgia lies in the zone at risk. A few severe thunderstorms could still erupt across Michigan as well, while a secondary threat exists for later in the day across the northern Plains.
9:00 a.m. EDT:
Thunderstorms progress farther southeast across Ohio. Wind damage has occurred across portions of Wayne, Ashland, Medina and Summit counties. Meanwhile, farther west across Iowa, severe storms are also erupting. Several trees were downed and a mile-wide field of corn was flattened by strong thunderstorm microburst winds neat Slater, Iowa.
8:00 a.m. EDT:
The cluster of thunderstorms that tore across Michigan early this morning, downing trees and power lines, is now heading southeastward across Ohio. Trees and power lines have already been downed across Cuyahoga and Lorain counties in Ohio.
The areas of highest risk for severe weather today will include Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee.
The most widespread impact of the thunderstorms will be damaging wind gusts, threatening power outages to some areas that were hard-hit late last week. However, the strongest storms could also produce large hail and even a tornado.
All thunderstorms across the region, whether they turn severe or not could bring heavy downpours and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning.
Anyone spending the day outside or extending their 4th of July celebrations will want to keep an eye to the sky across the region and be alert for changing weather conditions. Heed any severe thunderstorm or tornado-related warnings by quickly finding shelter.
Setting the Stage for the Rounds of Severe Storms
Whenever warm, moist air meets cooler, drier air, the resulting boundary will often produce adverse weather. This will hold true for much of the Great Lakes and northern Plains today.
Across the southern United States, stubborn high pressure will continue to allow for lingering heat and humidity from the nation's midsection to the South and mid-Atlantic.
Farther north, Canadian air will try to work into the region but until high pressure gives way, fronts will continue to struggle to dip south into the region, and the fighting boundaries will produce potentially violent thunderstorms.