Strong to severe storms possible Saturday

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – A storm system will bring scattered showers and storms to Central Illinois on Saturday. Some of the storm may be strong to severe with damaging winds and hail by mid to late afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Slight Risk (Level 2 out of 5) for the region.

Quick Facts

  • Severe Storm Timing: 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Primary Threats: Damaging wind gusts up to 65 mph & 1.0″ hail
  • Greatest risk east of the Illinois River

A few showers and perhaps a thunderstorm are expected to move across the region in the morning. These will not be severe but could drop as much as a quarter of an inch of rain west of the Illinois River. The residual outflow boundary will be the focal point for new development Saturday afternoon as a cold front moves in from the west. This round of afternoon and evening storms will be the storms that could become severe.

Storms will initiate along the Illinois river around 4pm and move to the east-northeast at 30 mph. Large hail up to 1.0″ in diameter and damaging wind gusts up to 65 mph are the primary threats. An isolated tornado is possible but this threat is higher along and south of I-72. The severe threat will end by 8 pm though some showers could linger along I-55 through 10 pm.

Know your risk categories

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) uses five categories to assess the risk of severe weather over a given area. Those categories are Marginal, Slight, Enhanced, Moderate and High. These outlooks were designed to help inform emergency managers and meteorologists of an impending threat of severe weather. They were never really designed for public consumption so it’s no surprise that the public often finds the names of the categories confusing and often misidentify which categories are higher and which ones are lower.

At WMBD/WYZZ we are now using a number system in conjunction with the SPC categorical outlook where a Level 1 threat is lowest threat level and Level 5 is the highest. You can see the categories and their corresponding risk levels below.

As of Friday afternoon, SPC has placed much of Central Illinois within a Level 2/Slight Risk. This means that scattered severe storms are possible within 25 miles of any point in the outlook area. Any severe storms that develop are expected to be short-live and not widespread.

Are You Ready?

Even though this event is not expected to evolve into a severe weather outbreak for our local area, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have multiple ways to receive weather alerts, such as a NOAA Weather Radio and the CiProud 2 Go Weather App. You can find more helpful preparedness tips and take a deeper look at the VIPIR tools we use to help relay life saving weather information to the public in this article.

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