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Relentless storm system heads to Midwest with damaging winds and possible tornadoes



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Destructive hail, winds and a few tornadoes could hit communities in parts of the Midwest on Tuesday as a relentless storm system continues to make its way across the US this week.

More than 22 million people across the region are under an enhanced severe weather threat, or Level 3 or 5, as of Tuesday, the Storm Prediction Center said. The storms are expected to reach peak strength during the afternoon and continue into Tuesday night.

The greatest area of ​​concern is concentrated in much of Iowa, northwestern Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin. and northern Missouri, which are under a level 4 of 5 threat.

Tornadoes, some stronger than EF2, as well as strong gusts of wind and Hail the size of tennis balls is the main threat across the Midwest on Tuesday, the Storm Prediction Center said.

Later Tuesday afternoon and evening, wind gusts of up to 90 mph could blow into the region. Windstorms threaten to knock out electricity if they damage trees and power lines in their path.

Although not in the center of the storm, cities such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Omaha and Madison are also at risk of severe weather. The lower chances for severe storms extended from Texas to Michigan, including Dallas, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Detroit.

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Flash flooding caused by heavy rain also poses a threat to parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska, where flood watches are in effect Tuesday. Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are possible, with some locations forecasting totals of up to 5 inches.

The powerful storm system arrives in the Midwest after passing through the central United States on Sunday and Monday, triggering reports of more than a dozen tornadoes and several damaged homes across the region. Waves of severe storms have hit the United States over the past week, including a devastating storm that hit Houston on Thursday, leaving hundreds of thousands of residents without power for days amid a sweltering heat wave.

As the storm system weakens on Wednesday, it could trigger thunderstorms from Texas to western New York, bringing less intense threats of hail, winds and possible tornadoes.

Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman/USA TODAY

A home in Oklahoma City was destroyed by storms on Sunday.

An intensifying heat wave is affecting Houstonians, even as large numbers of residents remain without power due to Thursday’s destructive storms.

Severe storms unleashed a tornado and 100 mph winds last week in Harris County, which includes Houston, and sent gusts of rain and large debris whipping through the air as people sheltered inside cars, grocery stores and lobbies of offices. Hotels.

The violent conditions killed at least eight people, ripped out skyscraper windows, toppled critical electrical infrastructure, caused a sewage spill and made roads impassable.

Electricity has not yet been restored to more than 140,000 people homes and businesses in Harris County as of Monday night, according to PowerOutage.us. Authorities have warned that restoring power to some areas could take weeks, leaving people without air conditioning, as the heat index (a measure of how hot the body really feels) could reach triple digits this week.

A dangerous heat wave is increasing from southern Texas to the central Gulf Coast this week and record daily high temperatures could be on the horizon.

“Record or near-record warm temperatures overnight will provide little to no relief to those without an adequate or reliable cooling system,” the National Weather Service warns.

Heat is the deadliest form of extreme weather and poses a growing threat as human-caused climate change leads to longer and more intense periods of excessive heat. Houston residents will have to endure heat indices from 90 degrees on Monday to 100 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Widespread power outages continue throughout the Houston metropolitan area. Please take safety precautions when using generators,” said the National Weather Service in Houston. “Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion/stroke. Don’t overdo it during the cleaning process.”

This weekend, heat indices could soar to over 110 degrees. Sweltering temperatures will engulf the region from early next week until relief finally arrives towards the end of the month.