Severe T-Storm Watch in effect for Central Illinois until 4 AM Saturday

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – Thea National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm for much of Central Illinois until 4 am Saturday. Additional watches could be issued later tonight for areas further north and west.

Key Takeaways

  • Main Severe Weather Window: 5 pm Friday through 3 am Saturday
  • Storm Threats
    • 75 MPH wind gusts
    • 2.5″ in diameter hail
    • Localized flash flooding
    • Isolated tornadoes

The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Central Illinois within an Enhanced Risk for severe storms which is a level 3 threat on a scale of 1 to 5. This means that storms that develop will likely be persistent, widespread and potentially intense.

What to Expect

Hot and humid conditions will contribute to a moderate to highly unstable atmosphere across Central Illinois Friday afternoon. While isolated severe storms are possible this afternoon, a layer of warm air loft known as a cap should hold back most of the severe storms until this evening, when an upper-level wave will help break the cap as temperatures aloft begin to cool. This type of environment leads to explosive storm development once the cap breaks allowing thunderstorms to quickly become severe when they do develop.

Once the cap breaks numerous severe thunderstorms will be possible across Central Illinois with storms focused along or near I-74. Destructive wind gusts over 75 mph will be possible along very large hail over 2.0″ in diameter are possible. It should also be noted that thunderstorms produced baseball size hail in Minnesota Thursday night. Given how atmospheric conditions are similar here, it is certainly possible that we could see some of that locally which is quite rare for Central Illinois. The risk of tornadoes is low, but given the strength of the low level shear a few tornadoes will be possible.

Thunderstorms will continue to rumble across the region overnight with a few storms possibly lingering through sunrise south of I-74. However, the risk of severe weather is expected to end around 3 am Saturday.

Rainfall amounts will vary greatly from one location to another. Wherever the strongest storms develop rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches should be expected. Training thunderstorms could produce localized amounts over 3 inches which may lead to localized flash flooding.

Remember to have multiple ways of receiving life saving weather information including a NOAA Weather Radio and the CiProud 2 Go Weather App. Make sure you know the difference between a watch and a warning and that you have a plan in place for when warnings are issued.

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