Severe Weather hits Stateline counties, tornado confirmed in Lee - – Rockford’s News Leader

Severe Weather hits Stateline counties, tornado confirmed in Lee County

Posted: Updated:
Photo courtesy of Will Wight Photo courtesy of Will Wight

UPDATE: There were a handful of tornado warnings issued tonight by the National Weather Service. The confirmed tornadoes tonight were eight miles east of Amboy, 7 miles west of Paw Paw, and nine miles southwest of Shabbonna in Lee County.

DeKalb and Whiteside Counties also saw confirmed tornadoes during the event this evening.

Damage wise, the National Weather Weather Service reported tree damage near Shaw Road in southeast Lee County.

The tornado and severe threat for the Stateline including Winnebago, Stephenson, Ogle, and Lee Counties is diminishing as the supercell system push off to the southeast.

Severe thunderstorms are predicted for the evening., exactly 1 year after the tornado that swept through Sublette and the Woodhaven Lakes area.

Morning storms moved through the area, but mainly had heavy rain and wind associated with them. Officials in Ogle County are putting more first responders on duty in response to the threat of severe weather in the evening, however.

Reports of power outages in Dixon are following a severe thunderstorm that made its way through the area.

The morning storms will influence how the afternoon goes; the earlier those storms end, the higher the threat for a severe afternoon and evening. Here's why: The atmosphere will be unstable during the morning, fueling the storm. A large, long-lasting, cluster of thunderstorms will likely "use" much or all of that instability. Once the thunderstorms end, the atmosphere can start recharging (by heating back up and destabilizing) which will give some juice to evening thunderstorms. The later those morning thunderstorms last, the less time the atmosphere has to recharge, meaning the less fuel available for the next round of storms. At this time, it looks like the atmosphere will recharge by the late afternoon, which is keeping the afternoon risk high.

As storms brew up tomorrow afternoon, once an area of low pressure and a warm front trigger them, they will likely quickly become severe. This is partly due to the amount of wind shear, or "spin", in the atmosphere, especially near the warm front. The wind shear can help kick start the rotation in those thunderstorms, spawning tornadoes and other nasty weather. We'll continue to monitor the placement of that warm front throughout the afternoon and evening, because intense storms will fire up near it.

The time frame for the afternoon and evening round of storms is pretty wide, with the expectation to narrow it after seeing how Wednesday morning storms affect our atmosphere. Also, the area for severe weather may be shifting south, as the front will take longer to move north. Locations south of Rockford should still stay on high alert. Right now, be weather aware again between 4 PM and 10 PM, with a bigger emphasis on the second half of that time frame. Thunderstorms would move east-southeastward into the Chicagoland area after that. All threats are possible with this. Large hail, a few tornadoes, and damaging wind gusts.

Overall, keep this in mind: What happens in the morning will play a very big role on what happens in the afternoon and evening. We will better be able to pinpoint when and where severe weather may happen, but we have to wait for the first round of storms to move through.

There's plenty of time to prepare instead of panic. Put fresh batteries in the weather radio, practice your safety plan, and stick with the 13 Weather Authority.

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