Updated thoughts on Wednesday’s severe weather threat

June 21, 2016: Here’s a few quick thoughts on tomorrow’s severe weather threat, as new information keeps coming in.

First, remember, the situation is still fluid. How the afternoon round of significant severe weather plays out will partly be determined by what the morning storms do. Those morning storms will take some of the energy and instability out of the atmosphere, so we have to wait and see where the atmosphere recharges the best. The later the storms stick around, the lower the severe weather risk.

At this point, I think a lot of the morning activity should be out by 9 AM, which does give us plenty of time to recharge the atmosphere. That isn’t good news for us hoping to avoid severe weather in the afternoon. Some potential good news is the severe weather risk for the morning hours seems to be going down.

severe setup 2

The overnight and morning storms will push on the incoming warm front, and it looks like the front will be slowing down some and staying in southern Iowa and Illinois. This means the worst of the morning weather is drifting to the south in the latest model runs.

THREAT TRACK INDEX

We’ll likely still get some showers, and possibly some heavy rain, but the threat for high winds and large hail is going down right now. The picture is getting clearer because the storms are starting to sprout up tonight, plus some of the high-resolution short-term models are catching up to the hours we are most curious about, giving us a better picture over the next 12 hours or so.

severe setup 3

As for the afternoon round, the morning storms may help keep the warm front away and keep the instability down for us, which helps limit the severe weather threat for certain areas. However, we can’t rule out explosive storm development yet. Those morning storms won’t keep the front away forever. For now, the risk area could shift to the south and west, away from Rockford but more toward Dixon and Genoa.

THREAT TRACK INDEX 2

Also, strong storms may arrive later in the evening Rockford and areas to the north, during the middle of the evening, rather than the late afternoon.

WREX2

Even if the severe weather risk starts to move away from certain areas, remember that we are still under a Flash Flood Watch. The air around the Stateline will be flooded with very humid air, so any storms that pop up will be major soakers. We still could be torrential rainfall with 2″/hour for rainfall rates.

alex headlines

Remember to review your severe weather plan, and stay weather aware tomorrow. While the morning threats may be diminishing, the afternoon round could still be explosive. Stay with the 13 Weather Authority for updates both on-air and online at www.wrex.com/weather.

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on June 21, 2016

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