Thursday’s Severe Threat:

Mother nature was back at it again Wednesday, bringing a few strong to severe storms to northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Thankfully, the threat locally was minimal, with storms only producing gusty winds and small-sized hail.

The active stretch carries on into our Thursday as a cold front is expected to surge through the area later on this afternoon. Ahead of this frontal boundary will be two rounds of showers and thunderstorms that we’ll need to keep a close eye on.

The first round is currently sweeping through areas west of Kansas City, Missouri and south of Omaha, Nebraska. Guidance shows this cluster quickly lifting to the northeast, landing in the vicinity of the Stateline between the mid to late morning hours. While this activity will be weakening on it’s approach, we could encounter heavy rain, strong winds, and small-sized hail.

Then, it all comes down to the state of the atmosphere by the time the cold front arrives. A break in the action is to follow this morning’s threat, likely lasting into the early afternoon hours. The big question during this stretch is “does the atmosphere have what it needs to recover?”. Meaning, does the sun poke out enough to help re-energize our atmosphere? Or, do clouds hang tight, leaving less room for destabilization to occur.

Forecast models this morning show the atmosphere somewhat recovering, which will lead to the development of a scattered round of showers and thunderstorms. Overall, the severe weather risk remains low. Overnight, the Storm Prediction Center continued to keep the entire region under a Marginal Risk (level 1 of 5), with a slightly higher risk downstate. Be weather ready just in case. Should any storm become severe this afternoon, all modes of severe weather would be on the table, including a few brief, weak tornadoes.

Cooling Back Down:

A lingering thunderstorm or two is possible this evening. Otherwise, expect clouds to somewhat decrease into Friday, resulting in a less active day. Highs because of the cold front are expected to drop to 60-degrees Friday afternoon, then down into the upper 40s Saturday. When you punch that into the calculator, that equals a 24-degree drop between today’s high of 70-degrees and Saturday’s high of 46-degrees. Despite a mix of clouds and sun, Friday also features a low chance for isolated light showers, with that low chance carrying on into Saturday.