ROCKFORD (WREX) – Morning showers have developed as a nose of fast moving air moves overhead.
A jet streak, which is a pocket of locally stronger winds within the jet stream, is moving overhead and this has provided enough lift in the atmosphere for showers to develop early. Rain showers are possible through the morning, but storms are likely as the day progresses.
As dew points climb into the upper 60’s, it definitely is beginning to feel a bit more like summer. Stepping outside this morning will feel a bit steamy thanks to the readily available Gulf of Mexico. Southwesterly winds are pulling moisture northward into the Stateline. In fact, it could be quite a breezy day. Non-thunderstorm wind gusts of 25 to 30 MPH are possible at times.
Latest guidance depicts a broken arc of thunderstorms developing by about the lunch hour. Storms will begin firing west of Rockford first, gradually working into the area by between 3 and 6 PM. The Storm Prediction Center has much of the area under a slight risk (2 out of 5) for severe storms. This simply means that, while not expected to be widespread, scattered severe storms are possible.
As far as potential threats with today’s storm risks are concerned, large hail and damaging winds are most likely. With an atmosphere that’s loaded with moisture, heavy downpours and localized flash flooding are possible. Frequent lightning is possible with any storm, severe or otherwise.
Now is a good time to remind everyone reading this: when thunder roars, head indoors. It’s lightning safety awareness week and with an average of 12 to 16 lightning strikes per square kilometer – which is slightly less than one-half square mile – northern Illinois sees a fair amount of lightning.
Storms should begin to wind down by sunset. Clouds should begin to clear overnight, with a mix of clouds and sun expected to start Tuesday.