Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — An incoming cold front is expected to send multiple rounds of thunderstorms to Central Illinois Sunday, the strongest of which will move through Sunday evening bringing destructive hail, damaging winds and perhaps a few tornadoes to the area. With widespread storm coverage and significant severe weather possible, Your Local Weather Authority has declared Sunday, September 18th, 2022 a Severe Weather Alert Day.

Key Takeaways

  • Severe Storm Timing: 5 pm Sunday to 2 am Monday
  • Primary Threats
    • Destructive hail 2.0″ or larger
    • 65 mph wind gusts
    • A few tornadoes
  • Storms ongoing Sunday morning are not expected to be severe

What we expect

The potential for widespread severe storms across Central Illinois Sunday evening continues to increase. As a result, the Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Central Illinois within a Level 3 Risk (Enhanced Risk) with very large hail, potentially greater than 2.0″, being the primary threat. Scattered severe wind gusts over 60 mph and a few tornadoes will also be possible.

Click through the slideshow below to see where the greatest risk for hail, wind and tornadoes are.

Scattered showers and storms will likely be ongoing Sunday morning, but these storms are not expected to be severe and should end by 9 or 10 am at the latest. Once these storms end, there should be a lull in thunderstorm activity for several hours before storms start to ramp up Sunday evening. The exact start time remains unclear, but the window for severe storms will open at 5 pm. Chances are the storms will end up holding off until or just after sunset when the low-level jet stream ramps up.

Storms are likely to develop in southeast Iowa and western Illinois then track southeast into Central Illinois throughout the evening. Storms with rotating updrafts, what we call supercells, will be possible through 10 or 11 pm. These will be the storm capable of producing very large hail and perhaps a few tornadoes. After 11 pm, the primary threat becomes damaging winds as the storms organize into clusters and squall lines. There is a chance that storms will back build to the northwest which will lead to training thunderstorms are potential for flash flooding.

Keep in mind, many of these storms will be coming after dark. Make sure to have multiple ways to receive life saving weather information including a NOAA Weather Radio and the CiProud 2 Go Weather App.

Rainfall forecast

With training thunderstorms possible late Sunday evening there’s bound to be areas that pick up some very heavy rain. While rainfall amounts will very from one location to the next, the heaviest rain is favored to fall along and south of I-74 where training thunderstorms are most likely to occur. Here, rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches are expected with pocket up to 4-5 inches possible.