The Storm Prediction Center has placed Champaign-Urbana in a 'Slight Risk' for strong/severe thunderstorms for today and tonight. An Enhanced Risk & Moderate Risk are also found close by, just to the north. Should this risk be adjusted later in the day, the CU area could find our risk level raised.
We'll see the chance for another round or two of morning thunderstorms, but the bigger severe weather threat comes much later in the day, and as always there is some uncertainty with regard to the overall threat here in CU.
The game plan at this point is for intense thunderstorms to develop to our northwest this afternoon - near the Quad Cities to Dubuque, IA area. These storms could rapidly become severe with the potential for damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes.
After some time, these storms should gradually grow and expand into a larger bowing line of strong to severe storms, which would now primarily be producing damaging winds.
The variability comes along with the following: Where do the storms initially form? When do they develop? How long until they grow into a larger cluster/line? And finally, which direction do they end up traveling?
These clusters of storms often take on a mind of their own to an extent, and should they travel straight east they may remain north of CU altogether, primarily impacting the Chicago area. This is the most likely scenario... the primary threat being to the north of CU, as this severe weather risk map shows. That said, should the storms take a more southeasterly course, we could be looking at a round of windy thunderstorms late this evening.
The primary threat here in Champaign-Urbana will be between 6 PM and Midnight, with the primary risk being damaging winds, though large hail and an isolated tornado are also possible.