UPDATED: Significant Risk of Severe Storms Saturday

Updated 9:05am Saturday, March 28, 2020

Impressive rains fell across much of the Sauk Valley Region last night with many locations picking up more than an inch and even a few reports of as much as two and a half inches of rainfall.

This morning we continue to monitor the short-term trends that will drive our severe weather threat as we head into the early afternoon through this evening. Currently, an extensive complex of showers and thunderstorms is working northeast from much of Missouri. This activity is expected to arrive here locally just before noon. Some hail is possible along with frequent lightning. How long this activity lingers into the early afternoon will play a significant role in what severe storm development occurs by mid afternoon into the early evening.

Should this activity persist into much of the early afternoon and cloudiness continues to our southwest, our risk for seeing significant severe weather here locally will begin to decrease some. However, should this activity quickly leave by early afternoon and some sunshine is realized in or just to our southwest, this will drive the needed energy for more significant severe storm development after 2pm. Some degree of uncertainty still remains with how much instability can grow in the wake of the activity moving up through Missouri.

The highest threat with these storms continues to be extremely large hail, perhaps larger than two inches in diameter. A secondary threat would be a strong tornado or two, especially with any storm that can become rooted along the warm front that will be quickly retreating northward. Current data and analysis shows this potential is highest over much of the Sauk Valley region today thnaks to strong and favorable wind fields aloft.

Another threat is storm movement. With strong wind speeds aloft associated with this storm system, storm movement may exceed 50 o 60 MPH at times giving you little time to prepare should a storm produce significant severe weather.

BOTTOM LINE: The wind of opportunity for severe weather continues to favor the 2pm to 7pm time frame. During this period of time, you will want to make sure you have a way to receive warnings and take immediate action should life-threatening weather approach your specific location.

More updates throughout the day.