Steamy, Stormy Tuesday:
Mother nature brought the 1-2 punch on Tuesday, as the excessive afternoon heat led to another round of strong to severe thunderstorms. Only this time around, the main concern was less of a tornado threat and more of a damaging straight-line wind threat.
As of Wednesday morning, the Storm Prediction Center has documented 232 wind reports, with most happening in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Wednesday could well be a repeat, as the dangerous heat returns, along with the potential for more strong to severe storms.
Aside from a stray thunderstorm or two, our Wednesday will begin on a fairly dry note under partly cloudy skies. Temperatures on either side of the 70° mark look to climb quickly into the afternoon thanks to mixed sunshine and a southwest breeze. A few spots yesterday observed outrageous heat index values between 110° to 120°. Thankfully, heat indices today will not be quite as insane, though most spots look to top out near or over the 100° mark. As of a result, the National Weather Service has placed the entire Stateline under a Heat Advisory for the second straight day. This advisory will be in effect from 12PM-7PM. The continued heat and humidity will aid in the development of thunderstorms by the afternoon, with storms initially firing off to the northwest of the Stateline.
As a cold front slowly sinks down from the Upper Midwest, thunderstorms will slowly track to the southeast, increasing our chances by late this afternoon. For those who plan on driving during the evening commute hours, extra caution will definitely be needed. Storm motion this time around will be slower thanks to the slow-moving nature of the incoming cold front, which will make localized flooding a big concern once again. Tagging along with the threat for flooding is the threat for strong to severe storms.
The Storm Prediction Center for the third straight day has placed the Stateline under a Slight Risk (level 3 of 5) for severe weather. All severe modes will be on the table, with damaging straight-line winds and large hail being the biggest severe concerns. However, an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out, especially early on in the event. Storms chances look to be best between 4PM-10PM, with conditions rapidly drying out after midnight. Plan on another warm start to Thursday, with daily highs pushing into the low 90s by the afternoon. While it doesn’t look like it, much needed relief is ON THE WAY. Following Thursday’s cold front, high temperatures and humidity levels look to collapse into Friday, leading to a comfy stretch of weather.