Latest On Severe Storms:

A warm front lifting into northern Illinois brought a noisy start to our Friday. Thankfully, the thunderstorms that rolled on through were non-severe, only posing a risk for frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, small-sized hail, and heavy rainfall. Conditions turned a bit more tranquil as they continued to track away from the region. Beyond the early-morning storms, forecast models show little activity is expecting into the area prior to mid-day.

The Storm Prediction Center continues to keep our western counties (Jo-Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, and a slim portion of Ogle and Lee County) under a Moderate Risk (level 4 of 5), with the remaining counties being left under a enhanced risk (level 3 of 5).

Early-Afternoon Round:

We’re still keeping an eye on two rounds of thunderstorms, one for the early afternoon, then a second and potential stronger round late this afternoon into the evening. There are questions pertaining to whether or not the early-afternoon round actually manages to initiate along a weakly-organized upper-level impulse. However, I would still be weather ready between the hours of 1PM and 4PM just in case the first round does manage to develop. If it does, most of this activity will be elevated, meaning hail and winds will be the primary concerns.

Second Round:

The second round of thunderstorms pose more of a severe threat, assuming the first round clears out fast enough. The timeline for this second round is roughly from 4PM to 10PM. Initially, these storms will be discrete, forming along the surface low out in central and eastern Iowa.

As the storms rapidly move to the east, they’ll merge into a strong line, crossing into western and northwestern Illinois by early this evening. Damaging winds will be the primary concern. However, if any storm manages to break away from the main line, the risk for damaging winds and isolated tornadoes would increase.

Safe Place Reminder:

Remember folks… these storms will be fast movers, racing from the southwest to the northeast at roughly 50-60 mph. Be ready to act if a warning is issued for your area and also make sure to have multiple ways to receive watches and warnings Friday. Once the storms move out winds will increase quickly our of the northwest behind the departing low pressure system.

Cold air rushing in behind this evening’s frontal passage will rapidly bring down temperatures overnight, landing into the 30s through Saturday morning. Scattered snow showers are possible early Saturday with drier skies for the afternoon.