A potent storm tracking into the Plains will help to spark severe thunderstorms into tonight across the Mississippi River Valley.

This storm will continue to lead to the development of widespread showers and thunderstorms from eastern Texas through the Ohio Valley.

The best moisture and greatest instability is bottled up across the southern part of this zone from eastern Texas and northern Louisiana through central Arkansas, western Tennessee, western Kentucky and northwest Mississippi.

Cities which are in prime location for the severe weather include Tyler, Tex., Shreveport, La., Little Rock, Ark., and Memphis, Tenn. But a few stronger storms could develop as far north as Paducah, Ky, and Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Temperatures across this region are already in the 60s and 70s which is more than enough warmth to sustain thunderstorms this time of year.

Thunderstorms that do develop into tonight can produce damaging wind gusts of over 60 mph along with torrential, flooding downpours.

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Many locations will experience multiple rounds of thunderstorms which can lead to flash flooding. AccuWeather.com Meteorologists are concerned that upwards of 2-4 inches of rain can fall from northeast Texas through western Tennessee with these storms.

Along with the flooding rains and high winds, a couple of tornadoes are likely as there is enough wind shear or "twisting of the winds in the atmosphere" for storms to rotate.

The overall severe weather threat will diminish later this evening as the thunderstorms lift farther north into the Ohio Valley.

While severe weather isn't likely farther north, flooding rains can still occur through the overnight across cities such as Mount Vernon, Ill. and Indianapolis, Ind.

Keep checking back with AccuWeather.com over the next day as we keep you updated on the severe weather and flash flood threat.

Head over to our Severe Weather Center for the latest watches and warnings.

This same storm system will also bring wintry precipitation and a sharp turn to colder for Chicago.

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