Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — A slow moving cold front will help trigger scattered thunderstorms across Central Illinois tonight bringing periods of heavy rain, hail and gusty winds to the region. Showers and thunderstorms will continue to impact the region through Saturday night.

Key Takeaways

  • Storms are expected to develop between 7 pm and 8 pm and continue overnight
  • Hail and heavy downpours are the primary threats though a few strong wind gusts over 40 mph will be possible

As of 5 pm the cold front was roughly located along a Peru to Canton line and slowly moving east. VIPIR Radar shows showers trying to develop along and behind this front but a strong cap (layer of warm air aloft) is doing what we thought it would do and prevent storms from developing. These developing showers should continue to weaken the cap through early evening allowing storms to eventually develop between 7 pm and 8 pm.

Once storms develop they bring periods of heavy rain, hail and gusty winds up to 40 mph. The strongest storms may produce hail up to 1.0″ in diameter, though hail of this magnitude should remain somewhat isolated. Scattered storms will continue off and on overnight.

The cold front should shift southeast of I-55 on Saturday but showers and storms will continue to impact the region off and on throughout the day. While a few gusty storms are possible, the risk of severe weather will be mainly confined to areas along and south of I-72. Showers and storms will gradually shift east of the region late Saturday night leaving Central Illinois with mostly sunny skies on Sunday.

Rainfall Forecast

As we typically see with thunderstorms rainfall amounts will be highly variable across the region. That said we generally expect rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches along and east of I-55 with amounts ranging from a half inch to an inch further west.