The active weekend weather will be at its peak Saturday afternoon, as an approaching Low Pressure system will bring the Stateline a severe weather threat. However some places in our viewing area have a higher severe threat than others.
We are thinking the main threat for severe weather will be between 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Right now it appears as through the greatest severe risk is across the southern portion of the viewing area. However strong and severe storms and potentially tornadoes are possible anywhere in our viewing area.
There is a moderate risk for severe weather (category 4 of 5) in play Saturday. While most of this area is south of the Stateline, Whiteside and Lee Counties are on the northern tip of that severe risk. This risk continues south into the Quad Cities, LaSalle and into Peoria as well. It's these areas just mentioned that have the higher severe weather and tornado threat for Saturday.
The City of Rockford is under a slight risk for severe weather. That does not mean they are out of the woods for severe weather, they just have less of an atmospheric set-up compared to areas under the moderate risk. Everyone should stay weather aware regardless of where you are.
We'll have a break from the rain in the late morning and early afternoon before we get into the later afternoon hours when the severe storms are to ramp up. We will be keeping an eye on where the warm-front sets up and if we see any sunshine in our skies. If the warm front stays south of Rockford, that means the warm-sector stays south too.
The warm-sector ahead of the Low Pressure system is where that "Moderate" Risk is on the SPC outlook. This is where the winds will be strongest and temperatures will be warmest. That area is the prime place for severe weather to take place. The placement of the warm-front will be huge at placing where this will take place. Latest model trends also showing there will be lots of storm energy available in our atmosphere. This is one of the biggest key ingredients to getting an ideal severe weather set-up.
We'll also be looking to see if any sunshine appears in our skies tomorrow. We do not want that to occur, as the sun will charge up the atmosphere making it even more prime for a severe thunderstorm to develop. The clouds will keep our atmosphere stabilized.
In that main window of 3-8 p.m., all hazards of severe weather are in play. Tornadoes, gusty winds, hail along with lightning all are in play. Essentially the further SW of Rockford you go, the higher tornado threat there is. The highest chances for severe weather will be south of I-88 as it looks right now. However, this higher severe threat could always move north. We will keep an eye on the latest model trends.
Showers will also be moving very quickly throughout that time period, trending towards the northeast upwards of 60 MPH. After this, the system will move through and we'll be left with very gusty winds in excess of 40-45 MPH late Saturday night and throughout the day Sunday.
We'll be monitoring the storms around the clock, giving you the latest information as we receive it. There are several around of new model runs to come between now and tomorrow afternoon. Each one will have some changes with it. Everyone needs to stay weather aware tomorrow, especially people that are in that "Moderate" Risk for severe weather.
Look at the graphics below for more information on the threats, timing and what to expect. Tomorrow will be a good day to continue staying inside. Know where to go in-case disaster strikes and have a good way of getting weather information. You can download the 23 Storm Team Mobile App free on the App Store or Google Play.
The 23 Storm Team will be right back here in the morning giving you the latest on what you can expect Saturday afternoon. Stay weather aware!