MILWAUKEE -- This morning, the Storm Prediction Center upgraded severe weather chances for much of the Midwest, with the highest chance of severe weather on Saturday expected in northwestern Illinois. A moderate risk for severe weather encompasses much of that area, including the cities of Peoria, Bloomington, and Davenport. The threats range anywhere from wind gusts in excess of 70 mph, large hail, and even a strong tornado or two (mainly in Illinois).
The tornado risk is also highest in the moderate risk area, with a 15% chance of seeing a tornado within 25 miles. That is a relatively high risk, and remains a concern for much of northwestern Illinois.
Although Southern Wisconsin remains just to the north of the greatest risk, our area has been upgraded to a slight risk for severe weather and could see some of these threats in the state; especially if the storm system shifts northward. As of now, the area has a low risk for a tornado, and is more likely to see wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and small to medium-sized hail. .
Showers and storms will develop later tonight as a warm front makes its way northward. Any thunderstorms should remain well below severe criteria, with just heavy rain, thunder, and lightning expected tonight.
Another round of storms will develop along the warm front during the morning tomorrow, and these storms could reach severe criteria but will be more like an appetizer to the main course expected later on. With this round, winds could reach severe criteria, and some places may see small hail and localized flash flooding.
During the afternoon, yet another round of storms will develop ahead of a strong cold front. These storms have the potential to quickly reach severe criteria, and likely to produce large hail, damaging wind, and even a strong tornado (mainly in Illinios). SkyVision develops these storms over central Illinois and has them mature over northwestern Illinois, before weakening over Wisconsin.
The concern for our area will be how quickly do these storms weaken as they move northward, as if they do not weaken fast enough, we will also see a significant threat for severe storms.
SOCIAL DISTANCING & STORM SHELTERS
In the event of tornado threat, it is recommended for people to use storm shelters to protect yourself from harm even if you have to abandon social distancing to do so. Experts agree that the imminent threat of a tornado poses a higher risk to health and safety, and people should seek shelter to avoid that risk.
As we all do our part to lessen the impacts of COVID-19 on society at home & abroad, your NWS will continue to provide forecasts, warnings, & decision support to the public & our core partners to protect lives & property. Joint remark from AL NWS offices & ADPH on storm shelters: pic.twitter.com/cPh4RMVKNU
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) March 22, 2020
Stay tuned for the latest updates to the forecast on-air and online. Make sure to have multiple alert options ready, including our free FOX6 Storm Center app, testing batteries in weather radios, practicing severe weather plans, and getting a safety kit together in the basement of your home or safe room.
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