Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – As a large scale trough is bringing rain and snow to many areas west of the Rockies while mild and dry weather is in place to the east. Central Illinois will continue to see temperatures in the lower 70s with breezy conditions until the storm system arrives Friday and Saturday.

A strong cold front slowly approach the region from the west on Friday bringing sustained winds of 15-25 mph with gust up to 35 mph. A few showers and storms will be possible across the region on Friday, but the bulk of the rain should hold off until after Midnight Friday night. One the rain begins, it will likely continue through mid-morning Saturday before tapering off from west to east.

The risk of severe storms is expected to remain across the lower Mississippi River Valley where damaging winds and tornadoes will be possible. Severe storms are not expected locally but any organized thunderstorms may produce wind guts up to 55 mph late Friday night and early Saturday morning. Regardless of rain and storms, southerly winds will likely gust between 40 and 50 mph Saturday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for much of Central Illinois from 12am through 12pm Saturday.

Rainfall Forecast

Rainfall amounts will generally range from 0.50″ to 1.00″ west of the Illinois River with 0.25″ to 0.50″ further east. Locally high rainfall totals are possible where training thunderstorms occur.

While we’ll see some beneficial rainfall across Central Illinois, the heaviest rain from this system will be along and west of the Mississippi River where a widespread 2-3 inches of rain are expected. This rain is welcomed news for drought stricken regions of the Midwest which could use a good soaking rain. While it wont completely eradicate the drought, we should see some improvement.

The severe to exceptional drought conditions have lead to record low river levels along the Mississippi River in the last month. This storm should at least bring a modest rise in river levels along and west of the Mississippi River.