Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – With the exception of some localized downpours, the past week has been dry for much of Central Illinois. A cold front is expected to move through the region on Saturday bringing a little bit of rain with it.
- Best rain chances arrive between 3 am and 10 am Saturday
- Minimal severe weather threat
- Rainfall amounts generally around a half inch with locally higher amounts possible
While a stray shower is possible Friday afternoon the bulk of any rain would arrive late Friday night and early Saturday. Scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop across the Mississippi River Valley Friday night then move east into Central Illinois Saturday morning. With the storms coming through in the morning they will likely be in a weakening state but may produce locally heavy rain and gusty winds. These storms will move east of I-55 by 10 am leaving the region under partly cloudy skies.
The cold front is expected to move across the region in the afternoon and may trigger some additional storms if the atmosphere is able to recover in the wake of the morning storms. While unlikely, any storms that develop along the cold front in the afternoon may become severe with a threat of wind and hail.
Thursday’s Drought Monitor revealed that 15.42% of Illinois is experiencing drought conditions, a slight increase from the 15.20% that was covered last week. As we’ve seen throughout the year, the ongoing drought has mainly been confined to northern parts of Illinois. However, in this week’s update we now see that much of La Salle County is now considered “Abnormally Dry” and is experiencing low end drought conditions.
While much of Central Illinois has seen above average moisture over the past year, the past 30 days have been relatively dry, especially in La Salle County. Over the last 30 days, La Salle/Peru has only received 33% of their normal rainfall while many other areas have seen 50-75% of their normal rainfall. The exception has been across McLean, Ford, and southern Livingston Counties where they have seen 100-200% of their normal rainfall thanks to the several inches of rain that fell last week.
Drought conditions may persist or even worsen across Central Illinois through the end of August. While the weather pattern will favor the development of thunderstorm clusters known as MCS’ (Mesoscale Convective Systems) across the Midwest, most of this activity looks to stay north of our immediate area. That said, any rain across the Upper Midwest and northern Illinois could be a welcomed site to ease ongoing drought conditions.