Storm clouds are gathering over Laura Innes's ER alter ego Dr. Kerry Weaver — and we're not referring to the secret surrounding her sexual orientation. Next week's action-packed episode — "Partly Cloudy, Chance of Rain" — finds the stern doc caught in the middle of a raging thunderstorm.

"I'm stuck in an ambulance with a pregnant woman who's been stabbed," the Emmy-nominated actress-director explains to TV Guide Online. "We're trapped by live electrical wires that have fallen down. It was very intense and I got to be an action lady for a while."

As thrilling as the elaborate sequence was to shoot, Innes concedes that the special effects were toll-taking. "I did hate the rain part," she sighs. "You're standing out in the cold and you hear them say for the 75th time, 'Start the rain machines!' You think, 'No, please!' A crew member came up to me because he saw I was shaking and said, 'Are you OK?' And I said, 'No! I'm freezing my ass off.'"

Fortunately, brighter days should be ahead for Weaver now that she's finally coming clean about her sexuality. In last May's season finale, she finally disclosed to a co-worker (Paul McCrane's Dr. Robert 'Rocket' Romano) that she is gay. "I would say she peeked out [of the closet]," she says. "But Romano is really the only one who knows. Then, she closed the door and kept it to herself.

"I think Dr. Kerry will probably follow the traditional pattern," she adds of her character's coming out. "First, you take a small step and then you finally embrace your identity."