Illinois, Indiana Brace For Strong Storms, Wind, Hail
By Sean Powers, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
The National Weather Service is upgrading the risk of storms to its highest alert level of the year for parts of the Midwest, including Illinois and Indiana.
The primary threat in the Champaign-Urbana area will be from damaging wind gusts, possibly as high as 70 miles per hour.
There is also a chance for large hail and isolated tornadoes before 10pm CT, but Meteorologist Ernie Goetsch said it is unlikely any tornados in Central Illinois will be severe.
“In this case there may be some smaller, short-lived tornados that develop on the forward edge of that," Goetsch said. "But the main strong tornados that are possible; they will be in the northern parts of Illinois.”
The National Weather Service said the massive storms are expected to bear down on the Indianapolis area late Wedneday evening before continuing east.
The storms could affect more than one in five Americans as they rumble from Iowa to Maryland packing hail, lightning and tree-toppling winds.