Strong storms set to batter Midwest and East, high fire danger in the West

PHOTO: A car drives through a puddle after a thunderstorm in New York City Borough of Queens on Aug. 21, 2019.PlayJohannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH News headlines today: Sept. 13, 2019

A large area of the country will see strong storms continuing today with possible flash flooding in areas all the way from Oklahoma to Maine.

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Flash flood watches are currently in effect for four states including Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois this morning where some areas have already seen up to 5 inches of rain.

Later this afternoon and evening the cold front that has been the catalyst for the storms in the Plains will move to the East Coast with strong storms and damaging winds from Maine to the Carolinas including Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh.

Strong storms are also possible in the Ohio Valley today where some areas could see heavy rain and possible flash flooding.

PHOTO: A cold front will bring heavy rain and flash flood watches to the East Coast. ABC News
A cold front will bring heavy rain and flash flood watches to the East Coast.

Heavy rainfall totals are expected from Arkansas to the Carolinas for the next 48 hours with some areas expecting more than 4 inches of rain.

PHOTO: Heavy rain is expected across much of the Midwest and South today with inches of rainfall in some areas. ABC News
Heavy rain is expected across much of the Midwest and South today with inches of rainfall in some areas.

The heat wave in the South is finally going to subside today due to the cooling thunderstorms that are forecast for this afternoon. All heat alerts across the region have been dropped.

The only heat alerts left in the East are in New York City and New Jersey where the heat index could reach the mid-90s by this afternoon.

PHOTO: The Northeast corridor will be hot, hazy and humid throughout the day. ABC News
The Northeast corridor will be hot, hazy and humid throughout the day.

In the West, several cities reached record highs yesterday including 114 Fahrenheit in Phoenix and 110 in Tucson.

The record heat, dry conditions and lightning helped to spark severe brush fires in Arizona and forced the closure of Interstate 17.

PHOTO: Record heat in the Southwest means fire warnings are in effect across the region. ABC News
Record heat in the Southwest means fire warnings are in effect across the region.

But the record heat will subside a bit in most of Arizona today while further north the National Weather Service issued red flag warnings for high fire danger in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado due to gusty winds.