Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – After a stretch of cool weather the pattern is changing. Temperatures will be returning to the mid 70s late this week but that warm weather will also bring strong storms and heavy rain.
Storm Impacts & Timing
- Severe Weather Window: 4 pm Thursday to 2 am Friday
- Primary threats: Damaging winds and heavy rain
- Rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches expected through Sunday
The warmer temperatures are a welcomed change for many central Illinoisans who experienced a record setting late season freeze this past weekend. Unfortunately the warm up also brings a risk of heavy rain which would fall on already saturated soils from rains over the past few weeks.
A slowing cold front will approach the region from the northwest on Thursday. Moisture rich air will pull north ahead of the cold front allowing dew points to reach the low to mid 60s. As temperatures climb into the mid 70s instability will ramp up ahead of the approaching cold front and will fuel thunderstorms that develop in the afternoon and evening.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Central Illinois within a slight risk for severe storms, which is a level 2 out of 5. A few severe storms will be possible as early as 4 pm but the main risk will come with a squall line that is expected to develop along the cold front Thursday evening then drop southeast into Central Illinois. This main line is expected to move through the region between 8 pm and 2 am. Damaging winds and flash flooding are the primary threats but hail and isolated tornadoes are also possible.
The overall risk of severe weather will highly depend on the what happens Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Timing and placement of showers and storms the night before could act to lower or increase the severe weather risk across the area, especially if the warm front is kept further south. Given these uncertainties, changes in the placement and timing of these storms is likely to come over the next couple of days so be sure to check the forecast frequently. Additional rounds of showers and storms are expected from Friday night through Sunday and could bring an additional 1-2 inches of rain to portions of the region.