ROCKFORD (WREX) – Despite the dry start to the morning, things will be changing later today and could bring strong to severe thunderstorms.
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Thunderstorms are pushing southeastward across Northeastern Iowa and Central Wisconsin.
The line features the potential for strong winds and possibly hail. Analyzing the height of the strongest segment shows cloud tops between 40-thousand and 50-thousand feet. Any time storms are that tall, we as meteorologists keep a very close watch on hail potential.
This line of thunderstorms will move into the Stateline later this morning, arriving first across far Northwest Illinois by between 10 AM and noon. The forecast gets a bit tricky from there.
The past few severe storm setups have been very conditional, meaning that all the ingredients have to come together in just the right way for it to come to fruition. That isn’t so much the case today. We have the warmth, as highs today will easily climb into the upper-70’s to low-80’s. We have the moisture in place with dew points expected to climb into the mid-60’s. We also have the lift, in the form of a potent cold front, required for storm development.
What’s the “tricky” aspect of this forecast? How much does this morning’s thunderstorm activity “work over” the atmosphere? These storms are feeding on a lot of moisture and warmth. What could dampen thunderstorm development this evening is how much of that energy this morning’s thunderstorms zap out of the atmosphere. With temperatures expected to rise to near-80 with relatively high dew point temperatures, it does look like thunderstorm re-development will be likely late this evening into the early overnight hours.
The severe weather this afternoon and evening will feature the risk for golf ball sized hail and strong winds of up to 60 MPH. Those threats will evolve as the storms develop. Large hail will be likely early on, but as storms begin to line up and congeal a bit more, damaging winds will become a big concern.
On top of large hail and damaging wind threats, heavy rain will also be possible. Rainfall rates could provide a flash flooding potential, especially on area roads where ponding is likely. River flooding doesn’t look likely given the recent stretch of dry weather we’ve been able to enjoy.
Stay with us on-air and online for the latest updates on the severe weather potential and be sure to have ways to get alerts.