CENTRAL ILLINOIS — There is an enhanced risk (level 3 of 5) of severe storms through Monday evening.
Severe weather is most likely between 6 p.m and 11 p.m. with damaging winds and isolated tornadoes being the primary threats. A few super cells may develop west of the Illinois River and could carry this risk for hail. As storms merge into a squall line, damaging winds will become the primary threat.
The main threats for any storms that turn severe will be damaging winds in excess of 60-70 miles per hour, brief heavy downpours, and hail the size of quarters. There is still some uncertainty about the tornado threat.
The ingredients exist for a few isolated tornadoes, however, that’s not the main threat. The time frame for the severe weather is between 4 p.m. Monday through 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
A cold front will begin moving in during Monday afternoon and early evening, given enough instability and wind shear, the severe threat will hold together. Temperatures will be in the upper 80s and lower 90s during the afternoon with heat indices approaching 100. The storms will do a great job cooling off temps overnight into the lower 70s and upper 60s.
Here is what the radar could look like during the early evening, notice storms with brighter colors indicative of large hail and heavy rain. It appears the damaging wind threat will be highest with a strong-to-severe line of storms coming through close to sunset, as the line progresses eastward it will lose needed energy and begin to weaken.
Remember, this is just one weather model’s take on the event and details can still change on timing and intensity.
The takeaways from Monday’s weather…
- Keep an eye on up-to-date forecasts and have multiple ways to get weather warnings such as through a NOAA weather radio.
- The tornado threat is low, but you can’t rule out a few isolated tornadoes.
- It’s best to stay hydrated through the afternoon, given high temps and uncomfortable humidity.