Storms with large hail and tornadoes roll through central states
CHICAGO - Severe storms pounded parts of the central United States on Tuesday producing baseball-sized hail, unconfirmed reports of several tornado touchdowns and a line of intense, dangerous winds known as a derecho, weather forecasters said.
A derecho - a long-lived, wide line of thunderstorms that produces damaging winds - threatened the region on Tuesday night and is expected to move east into Wednesday morning, said AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
"These storms can knock down trees, cause power outages and travel mayhem for the Wednesday morning commute," he said.
National Storm Prediction Center forecaster Bill Bunting in Norman, Okla., said the strongest storms on Tuesday could produce tornadoes, with the possibility of a tornado rated EF-2 or higher and winds peaking at 135 mph (217 kph) or more.
On Wednesday, the storms were expected to move into eastern Missouri, central Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,southern Ohio, parts of Tennessee and West Virginia, forecasters said. AccuWeather.com said the storms could bring 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) of rain, with flash flooding possible in some areas.