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Midwest Could See Strong Windstorms Wednesday

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(credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images, File)

(credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images, File)

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MILWAUKEE (WWJ/AP) - Meteorologists are tracking a so-called “derecho” weather pattern in the Midwest that could spawn severe windstorms in major metropolitan areas with gusts as strong as 100 mph.

The National Weather Service says derechos occur once or twice a year in the central U.S. with winds of at least 75 mph. The storms maintain their intensity for hours as they sweep across vast distances, and can trigger tornadoes and large hail.

Meteorologists say the windstorms could hit from South Dakota to Pennsylvania over the next two days, including the Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh metro areas, posing “a severe risk.”

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Meteorologist Bill Bunting says there’s a 30 percent chance of severe windstorms capable of damaging homes and knocking down trees. Damaging winds are the greatest threat, and large hail, localized flooding and isolated tornadoes are also possible.

This severe weather is possible any time from Noon to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, with the greatest threat between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. — especially in areas south of I-69. The National Weather Service forecasters say areas south of I-94 have the highest probability of seeing an isolated tornado.

In Metro Detroit, WWJ AccuWeather Meteorologist John Feerick says to expect showers and maybe a thunderstorm during the day Wednesday. The threat of more severe weather begins in the early evening into the overnight hours, before the skies are expected to clear up in time for some sunshine Thursday afternoon and Friday.

Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest severe-weather warnings and the most up-to-the-minute forecast,  every 10 minutes on the 8s.

Check the CBS Detroit weather page for live, local radar and  the extended forecast anytime.

Sign up for severe weather text alerts: Text STORM to 95001
For daily weather forecast text alerts: Text FORECAST to 95001

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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