Election Day 2018 weather looks wet in East and South, snowy in North

Northeast, Midwest, South could get nasty weather

Edward Linsmier/Getty Images

(CNN) - 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 could mean a stormy trek to the polls for people in 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, with the severity of the storms diminishing through the morning hours.

The greatest risk of severe storms in the afternoon hours will be in the Mid-Atlantic region from eastern Virginia up through the Delmarva Peninsula, which includes parts of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

As the polls open Tuesday, rain and storms will be located just ahead of the advancing cold front and will stretch from western Pennsylvania southward through eastern Tennessee and into southern Mississippi.

The rain will travel eastward through the day and will move through the metro areas of 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.


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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