Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – A strong cold front will bring a line of strong to severe thunderstorms to Central Illinois Tuesday afternoon with damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are possible. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk for much of Central Illinois.
- Storm Timing: 3 pm to 7 pm
- Primary Threat: Damaging wind gusts between 60 and 70 mph
- Secondary Threat: Isolated and brief tornadoes
- Storms moving to the east-northeast at 50-60 mph
Central Illinois has experienced a stretch of record setting warmth over the last few days, but that stretch is about to come to a screeching halt. A strong cold front will move through Central Illinois Tuesday afternoon bringing a line of strong to severe storms to the area. The primary threats are damaging winds but brief tornadoes are possible. This is not expected to be repeat of November 17th, 2013 or December 1st, 2018
A deepening surface low will lift out of the Central Plains and into the Midwest on Tuesday. Ahead of the low and cold front, dew points in the lower 60s will contribute to modest instability. With strong wind shear in place, storms that develop along the front could become severe with damaging winds being the primary threat. Surface winds are expected to turn more south-southeasterly right ahead of the cold front which will increase the tornado risk, particularly west of the Illinois River.
The timing of the front has slowed down and the window for storms is between 3 pm and 7 pm, with the severe threat starting in the west at 3 pm and ending in the east at 7 pm. The severe weather risk is expected to gradually decrease as storms move further east and storms begin to weaken. Rainfall amounts will generally range from 0.50″ to 1.00″. While rainfall amounts of this magnitude don’t typically lead to flood concerns, fallen leaves could clog drains which could lead to some localized flooding in urban areas.
November: Central Illinois’ second severe weather season
Based on data from the Storm Prediction Center the state of Illinois sees an average of 51 tornadoes a year, most of which touchdown between April and June. That’s the time of year where the jet stream starts to lift north across the U.S. spawning severe weather outbreaks across the Central Plains and the Midwest. As we enter the heat of summer we end up with a relative lull in tornadic activity from July through October before seeing a slight bump in November.
This slight bump in November tornadoes represents an increase in severe weather events during Illinois’ second severe weather season. While severe weather this time of year isn’t common we’ve seen some notable events fairly recently including the November 17th, 2013 – historic tornado outbreak (Washington EF 4 Tornado).
Lets not forget that in 2018 Central Illinois experienced a record December tornado outbreak on December 1st. This event included 29 tornado reports across Illinois including four in McLean County, two in Fulton County, one in Mason and another Tazewell Counties. This outbreak also included the EF-3 Taylorville tornado.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen severe storms move through Central Illinois so make sure you NOAA Weather radio is on and ready to go. For additional warning, be sure to download the CiProud2go Weather App so you can receive location based alerts and our exclusive VIPIR Alerts.