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Be alert! Afternoon storms could produce hail and tornadoes

Even though it will be chilly and rainy for the first half of our day today, a warm front will sweep into the area around noon today. That will cause temperatures to rapidly rise to around 70 degrees this afternoon.

When that happens, thunderstorms may explosively develop...possibly producing large hail and a few tornadoes.

The window of opportunity is small, only from 3-6pm, but storms may be quite robust in that time. Areas of concern are from US-30, points south. If the atmosphere produces storms, the area around the Quad City Metro down to Burlington would have the highest probability of severe.

Looking at the probabilities, ongoing research from St. Louis University gives us probabilities of certain types of severe weather. These are not weather models. Instead, the maps are pinpointing what similar weather systems have produced. Of note, the tornado probabilities are quite high for Eastern Illinois and Northern Illinois...a reason we need to watch the radars and heed warnings today!

As we head into the evening hours, the atmosphere will quickly stabilize. Lingering showers are expected into Thursday morning with overnight lows around 50.

Thursday will be a cooler day with highs around 60. It will turn warmer for the weekend.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

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