FIRST ALERT: Severe thunderstorms likely Friday
PEORIA (25News Now) - Severe thunderstorms are expected to move through central Illinois this afternoon and evening. All modes of severe weather are on the table, from damaging wind gusts to strong tornadoes and large hail. The Friday forecast will feature highs near 70°, which will bring high levels of instability to support severe thunderstorms across central Illinois.
WHAT’S NEW TODAY - The Storm Prediction Center has shifted the Level 4 Moderate Risk further southeast to now include the Peoria and Bloomington metro areas. This elevated risk area signals the potential for “widespread” instances of damaging severe weather. The shift in the risk area also signals an increased risk for tornadoes across the 25 News Viewing Area. Also new today, we have increased the risk for scattered severe storms this afternoon.
TIMING - There are two potential periods for severe weather. The first remains a bit of a “conditional” threat this afternoon. Our atmosphere will be strongly capped through midday, which should generally work to suppress storm development. That said, if any storms break through the cap, scattered strong to severe storms will be possible, with all hazard types in play. The window for this threat is from 1-5 PM.
WIDESPREAD Severe thunderstorms are expected between 5-8 PM, as a broken line of supercells races across central Illinois. These storms will carry the threat of tornadoes, some of which may be strong. The supercells will transition into a fast moving line of storms that will feature damaging wind gusts of 75+ mph. Large hail and localized flooding will serve as secondary concerns.
STRONG WINDS - A Wind Advisory will go into effect across the entire viewing area at 1 PM and will last all the way into early Saturday afternoon. Strong southwest winds (not associated with thunderstorms) will sustain from 25-35 mph and will gust up to 45 mph later today. High winds will continue into Saturday morning, with northwest gusts up to 55 mph. This means that isolated power outages may continue well beyond the departure of severe thunderstorms.
Now is the time to prepare for severe weather. The free 25 News First Alert Weather App and a NOAA Weather Radio are great tools to keep you updated before and during severe weather. We’ll keep you updated on-air and online all day long. Check out additional livestreaming severe weather coverage at 8 AM, 3 PM, and as the severe weather arrives. \
Be safe! - Joe
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