Cooler Wednesday, tracking severe thunderstorm potential for Friday

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 4:57 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:17 AM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - Winds will shift out of the northwest behind a passing cold front this morning. The result will be a cooler day, with highs in the mid 40s. Clouds will increase through midday, before gradually decreasing late this afternoon. A partly cloudy and cold night is ahead, with lows once again in the low 30s.

Hour-by-Hour Wednesday Forecast.
Hour-by-Hour Wednesday Forecast.(WEEK)

Changes are on tap for Thursday, as breezy southerly winds will warm temperatures into the low 60s. An isolated shower or two cannot be ruled out, however most of the day will trend dry. Further warming is on tap for Friday, with highs near 70°. The warm and muggy March air will fuel the potential for severe thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening.

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT - The Storm Prediction Center has placed central Illinois under the Level 3 “Enhanced” Risk for severe weather. This means that “numerous” instances of severe weather are possible across the viewing area. All modes of severe weather (Damaging winds, Hail, and Tornadoes) are possible to varying degrees, depending on how the atmospheric conditions set up. There are three potential periods of active weather to watch.

Summary of the expected severe weather threats Friday evening.
Summary of the expected severe weather threats Friday evening.(WEEK)

Period 1 - Shower and thunderstorms may develop ahead of a warm front that will lift through central Illinois late Thursday into early Friday. Areas of heavy rain and perhaps some small hail will be possible, however the overall severe weather threat appears low during this period.

Period 2 - A few discrete storms may develop Friday afternoon. A few things will need to happen for these storms to become severe, however, if the storms intensify to severe levels, a tornado threat may develop.

Future Radar valid at 2 PM Friday. This is the period of greatest uncertainty, however any...
Future Radar valid at 2 PM Friday. This is the period of greatest uncertainty, however any "discrete" cells could bring a tornado threat.(WEEK)

Period 3 - A line of severe thunderstorms is expected to develop in eastern Iowa late Friday afternoon and will slide east ahead of the cold front Friday evening. This line of storms will aim to bring the greatest potential for severe weather to the 25 News Viewing Area, with 70+ mph wind gusts possible.

Future Radar valid at 7 PM Friday.
Future Radar valid at 7 PM Friday.(WEEK)

Strong, non-thunderstorm related wind gusts will reach speeds of 45-50 mph as the weather system departs on Saturday. Temperatures will rebound to the 60s by the end of the weekend. Stay tuned for the latest information!