A few of you may have woken up to the sound of a different alarm clock this morning. That’s because much of the Stateline woke up to heavy rain and quite a bit of thunder. In fact, one bolt of lightning struck just outside the station as I was constructing my forecast. I could tell you that after that, my need for coffee significantly dropped. As the first round comes to a close, it has left behind some pretty heft rainfall totals as of 9AM, with most locations registered amounts between .5″ and 1″. Sterling came in on top with a whopping 1.07″ of rainfall, followed by Rockford with .85″. Fortunately, we’ll get a break from the rain during the mid-day hours before we see the potential for another round late this evening.
As the heavier activity comes to a close, we’ll be left with cloudy skies and a few light showers heading into mid-day. Some model guidance this morning did show some hints of a little bit of clearing taking place during the afternoon and early evening. If any sunshine were to peek through the cloud cover, that would only help provide more fuel or instability for storms that formulate later today. Another component that could have compromised our severe potential is the activity we saw push through this morning. This could have stabilized our atmosphere, however, it only takes a few hours of daylight heating to replace the lost instability.
As of this morning, the Storm Prediction Center shifted the higher risk for severe weather to the south of the Rockford area. Most of the Stateline remains under a marginal risk, which is level 1 of 5 in the categories for severe weather. Meanwhile, areas south of I-88 are still under a slight risk (level 2 of 5) for severe weather. Storms will first begin to fire along a surging cold front between 6 PM and 8 PM on the west side of the Mississippi River. Storms at the beginning of the event will have the potential for strong winds, large hail and an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. As these storms push into the Stateline, they will quickly congeal into a line of thunderstorms or a storm system we call a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS).
The primary threats will then switch to damaging wind gusts and heavy rainfall. The best time frame for severe weather remains to be between 6PM and midnight tonight. On top of what we observed this morning, an additional 1″ to 2″ could fall between this evening and Friday morning. All of this rain could lead to localized areas of flash flooding. With this in mind, it is always a great to remember that if you come across flooded roadways, turn around and seek an alternate route. All of this rainfall could also lead to flash flooding along our creeks and streams. By midnight tonight, rain will likely begin to taper off leaving us with mostly cloudy skies into Friday morning. Thankfully, our forecast calls for no rain, and plenty of sunshine. Highs Friday afternoon will climb into the low 70s making for a beautiful and peaceful day to enjoy outdoor activities.