Many weren't all that pleased to see rain greet us Wednesday morning. Truth is, we should be quite thankful for that! The lingering cloud cover from those storms that persisted for much of the day over Illinois and Iowa kept our temperatures in check some. Had there been even 2-3 hours of sunshine in the afternoon, temperatures would have shot up to AT LEAST the mid-80s. Couple that with the humidity that's noticeably present, and we'd have had quite the atmosphere for t-storm development!
Storms did attempt to fire in Eastern Iowa and NW Illinois in the evening, though a warm layer of air at between roughly 7,500 and 10,000 feet in our atmosphere really put the squeeze on t-storm development! Though a few showers or embedded t-storms are possible during the overnight hours, it appears as though our best chance of storms will hold off until closer to sunrise Thursday, as a system situated over Eastern Nebraska as of 11:00pm begins to race eastward. Severe threat with this system may include some winds, but more likely just heavy rain more than anything else!
What happens in the wake of that system is the most crucial in determining how legitimate a severe threat will be Thursday. Should we stay cloudy again like Wednesday, the severe threat goes down. A period of afternoon sunshine will enhance the threat. One thing that's different between Wednesday and Thursday is that we'll have a cold front much closer by, which will help provide additional lift in our atmosphere to energize storm development. Hail and gusty winds will be the primary threats, should severe weather develop Thursday afternoon or evening.
We'll remain in a similar holding pattern on Friday, with another round of active weather a decent possibility, though even more uncertainty is evident in that picture. We'll have to wait to see how Thursday's dominoes fall before we can properly assess what's to happen Friday!
In the meantime, enjoy the several warm, rain-free hours that are sure to take place over the next couple days!