Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – It has been a relatively quiet start to severe weather season in Illinois. That said its not unusual for activity to pick up a bit in May. So, it comes at no surprise that the first cold front to move through Central Illinois this month could bring a few strong to severe thunderstorms with it. The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Central Illinois within a Slight Risk for severe weather (Level 2 threat out of 5) for Monday afternoon and evening.
- Timing: 4pm to 10 pm in Central Illinois
- Primary Threats: Hail up to 2.0″ in diameter, 65 mph wind gusts and an isolated tornado
- Not everyone will see severe weather
With the exception of a few stray showers, Monday will start off relatively quiet. Throughout the day instability and wind shear will increase ahead of the approaching cold front. Storms are expected to develop along the cold front as it moves across the Mississippi River and into Central Illinois between 4 pm and 10 pm Monday. For far southern Illinois the storm threat will materialize later in the night and continue beyond midnight.
The primary threats will be large hail up to 2.0″ in diameter and wind gusts up to 65 mph. The risk of a tornado is low but an isolated tornado would be possible, particularly between 5 pm and 8 pm. Our in house model highlights to potential for hail across Central Illinois. While I wouldn’t expect hail in the exact locations advertised by the model, it does speak to an environment that is conducive for producing hail. Once the cold front moves through the risk of severe weather will end.
While locally heavy rain is possible the risk of flash flooding is low as storms should be moving to the east around 35 mph. Rainfall amounts will generally be less than a half inch with locally higher amounts possible in the strongest storms.
What does a slight risk mean?
A slight risk from the Storm Prediction Center is a level 2 threat on a scale of 1-5. It means that scattered severe storms are possible in the highlighted area. These storms are usually short-lived and not widespread, but isolated intense storms are possible. In other words, while severe weather is possible over a large area they won’t impact everyone.
It’s best to remain weather aware on Monday and make sure you have multiple ways of receiving warnings including a NOAA weather radio and the CiProud2Go Weather App.