The cold front responsible for last night’s severe weather to the southeast of Springfield is currently over southwestern Illinois, bringing slightly cooler temperatures to central Illinois today. A second, stronger, cold front is currently in place over northern Illinois. Although little precipitation is expected with this front, this should bring significantly colder temperatures tonight into tomorrow. On Friday, low pressure systems currently in place over southern California and southern British Columbia are expected to merge over central Nebraska, before moving toward central Illinois. The first impact of this system will be a warm front that is expected to move across central Illinois late Friday afternoon, bringing a chance for thunderstorms late in the day on Friday and into Friday night. This warm front is then expected to become quasi-stationary, before turning back south as a cold front. However, dry air is expected to move over central Illinois on Saturday, reducing any chances for precipiatation. Temperatures should be near normal on Thursday, and below normal on Friday and Saturday, with highs ranging from the lower 50’s to mid 60’s.
Detailed forecast for central and east-central Illinois
Thursday: Partly cloudy with highs in the lower 70’s. Winds out of the north at 10-15 MPH.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy with lows in the lower 30’s. Winds out of the east at 10-15 MPH.
Friday: Mostly cloudy with a 40% chance of thunderstorms and highs in the lower 50’s. Winds out of the east-southeast at 15-20 MPH.
Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a 60% chance of thunderstorms and lows in the upper 40’s. Winds out of the east at 10-15 MPH.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of thunderstorms, especially for the Champaign and Effingham areas, and highs in the upper 50’s for Champaign, mid 60’s for Springfield, and lower 70’s for Effingham. Winds out of the northeast at 10-15 MPH.
Extended outlook: High pressure is expected to dominate the weather pattern through the early part of next week, bringing clear and dry conditions to the region. The models are starting to come together on a potential significant severe weather outbreak toward the middle of next week, although at this time it is too early to pin down the exact details of this event. In terms of temperatures, expect gradually warming temperatures over the next several days, with highs in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s toward the end of next week, and lows reaching the lower 60’s.