After receiving our first 80° day of the year yesterday, today will be slightly cooler with highs in the upper 70’s. The only difference is, the dry spell looks to end this evening. A strong low pressure system off towards the west will help bring in a large amount of moisture to the viewing area this afternoon and evening. This will help dew points rise in to the mid to upper 50’s and temperatures into the upper 70’s.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed the entire viewing area under a Marginal Risk (Dark Green) for severe weather. That is level 1 of 5 in the categorizes for severe weather. The main severe hazards for this evening look to be damaging wind gusts and large hail up to quarter size. The tornado risk is very small, but is not zero. So just in case, make sure you are weather ready.
The main time frame for thunderstorm chances will be right after peak heating (12PM – 4 PM) this afternoon. Most models show thunderstorms starting to move into our western counties right around the start of the evening commute. This main line will then track through the Rockford area between 6-8 PM so definitely have the rain gear on hand as you are leaving work or are heading home. And while you are out on the roads, if a thunderstorm is creating hazardous conditions, use extra caution. The thunderstorms should exit the viewing area by at least 10 PM tonight leaving around a few lingering showers as we go into tomorrow morning.
This would be a great time to make sure that your severe weather plan is set and ready to go. Also, make sure that you have multiple ways to receive watches and warnings as severe weather rolls through your area. Whether it’s through a weather radio, or your cell phone by downloading the First Warn Weather App, or by watching our weather casts. It is crucial to be have the latest information during a severe weather event. Happy Earth Day Stateline and be weather aware!