Midterm storms forecast in battleground states

CNN's Allison Chinchar explains which key battleground states can expect possible bad weather at the polls.

Posted: Nov 5, 2018 3:58 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 4:15 PM

A significant storm system is taking shape over the middle of the country and it could bring nasty weather to the Northeast, Midwest and South on Election Day.

An area of low pressure moving through the Midwest into the Great Lakes will spark strong storms along a trailing cold front, and will bring severe weather to parts of the South on Monday night.

These storms will be ongoing into Tuesday and could mean a stormy start to the polling day for many states from the Great Lakes all the way to the Gulf Coast.

Weather can play a significant role in voting behavior, with lousy conditions possibly suppressing turnout.

Every state east of the Mississippi River is likely to see rain at some point when the polls are open on Tuesday, though some states will undoubtedly see more storms and potentially disruptive weather than others.

The Storm Prediction Center issued an Enhanced Risk (level 3 of 5) for severe storms for Monday night into Tuesday morning for parts of the Mississippi River Valley, stretching from northern Louisiana to Nashville.

The severe weather threat shifts eastward on Tuesday, and though the risk of damaging storms is slightly less, the population within the risk area is considerably higher on Election Day.

Over 35 million people are in the Slight Risk (level 2 of 5) that stretches from Atlanta to Philadelphia and includes Washington DC.

The strongest storms -- which could be severe and contain hail, damaging winds and even the potential for tornadoes -- will be located just ahead of the advancing cold front, and should stretch from western Pennsylvania southward through eastern Tennessee and into southern Mississippi when the polls open Tuesday morning.

The storms will be moving eastward through the day and will move through Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Charlotte, North Carolina, in the early afternoon hours.

Several of CNN's top ten races to watch will be impacted by the weather, including Virginia's 7th District, New Jersey's 7th District, Georgia's 6th District and Florida's governor's race.


SEE A MAP OF THE KEY SENATE AND HOUSE RACES HERE

CNN shows many of these races are "toss-ups," meaning the polling numbers indicate the races are essentially tied -- so any influence the weather may play could prove decisive.

Key races for state governors could also be affected by the weather, including in Wisconsin, which could see significant rainfall turn over to snow by the afternoon in the northern half of the state. Minnesota and North Dakota will also see some Election Day snowfall with the storm system.

In the western half of the country, the weather looks to be more tranquil. However, the recent passage of the cold front that will bring unsettled weather in the eastern half of the country will leave western states in the chill.

High temperatures in the Great Plains will be in the 40s and 50s, but the wind will make it feel cooler to those heading out to the polls.

One positive note, over 20 million Americans chose to vote early, making sure Mother Nature didn't interfere with their civic duty to Uncle Sam.

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