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Severe Weather Likely Today, Large Hail and Strong Tornadoes Possible

PEORIA, IL (HOI ABC) - We are continuing to watch this afternoon and evening very carefully for a potentially significant severe weather event. As of writing this (12:35 PM), morning showers and storms have stalled the northward progress of an approaching warm front. However, sunshine may break out this afternoon and we could see a resumed northward motion of that front which will allow us to tap into warm, moist, and unstable air.

Storms are still likely to form ahead of an approaching cold front near the Mississippi River by mid-afternoon today. These will quickly move to the east or northeast at around 50-55 mph.

Our severe weather threat will continue as discrete cells move east through the area this evening. Our best window for any severe storms will be from 3-9 PM.

Some storms may linger closer to I-55 to I-57 near 10 PM, and then they will continue to move east away from us as we head into tonight.

Strong tornadoes will be possible today, especially within any individual, discrete supercells. Some of these may be long-track tornadoes and stay on the ground for 10 miles or more.

Given strong and ample wind shear today, including the lower levels of the atmosphere, some tornadoes may be EF2 or higher in strength.

As we have been saying for the last few days, it is extremely important that you have a tornado safety plan ahead of time. The safest place to be during a tornado is in a sturdy building in the lowest level and in an interior room away from outside walls and windows.

A basement or underground storm shelter is the safest place to be.

Given COVID-19, we have recently been observing social distancing. However, if a tornado warning is issued for your area, severe weather becomes a more immediate and life-threating hazard. It is ok to break social distancing to seek safety during a tornado.

Large hail will be possible within any severe storms later today. The area of largest hail usually forms north of where a potential tornado may be.

Damaging large hail up to 2-3" in diameter will be possible.

Make sure you have ways to get any warnings that are issued today. A NOAA Weather Radio is the best source for warnings.

You can also download our Heart of Illinois ABC app, which will send severe weather alerts to your mobile device. You can also track any storms that form using interactive radar.

To recap:

  • Morning rain/storms may delay afternoon and evening severe weather, but significant severe weather will still be possible.
  • The best timing for severe storms will be from 3-9 PM.
  • Strong tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds will be possible.
  • Be prepared!

We will be covering any tornado warnings on-air for the during of the tornado threat, as well as streaming live on Heart of Illinois ABC Facebook page.

Brian Walder

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