April 3rd weather roundup

Following is a collection of news related to the severe storms that are forecast to hit East Central Illinois on Thursday.  If you have news to add, please leave a comment on this story.

The forecast

A look at the forecast and current conditions can be found here.

Flood watch issued for portion of East Central Illinois

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch from Wednesday evening to Friday morning for the following counites:  Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas, Edgar, Coles, Shelby, Moultrie, Macon, DeWitt and Piatt.

Rain is expected to begin on Wednesday night and continue off and on through Thursday night.  Three to four inches of rain is expected.

Mercury sank in March

CHAMPAIGN — For the fifth consecutive month, temperatures in Champaign-Urbana were below normal.

The average March temperature was 34.8 degrees, about 5.2 degrees below normal. It was the 14th-coldest March in local weather history.

But it wasn't as cold as in February (9.9 degrees below normal) or January (5.6 below normal).

Updated: multiple weather advisories issued for East Central Illinois

NEW 3:10 p.m. Tuesday:  A winter storm warning has been issued for Ford and Iroquois counties from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday.


LINCOLN - The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a winter weather advisory for snow, in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Winter storm watch issued for Ford and Iroquois counties

A winter storm watch has been issued for Ford and Iroquois Counties in effect from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service said rain will turn to snow late Tuesday night, with six or more inches of snow possible.  Also, wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour will cause blowing and drifting snow, which will make travel hazardous.

FEMA rejection not going over well

But $100,000 grant from Chicago foundation gives villagers a reason to cheer

GIFFORD — FEMA's denial of public assistance funding for tornado-damaged Illinois communities did not go over well at a community meeting Tuesday night in Gifford.

2013-14 winter ranks right up there

SPRINGFIELD — The meteorological winter of 2013-14 — which ended last Saturday morning — ranked locally as the fifth-snowiest ever and the ninth-coldest, according to preliminary statistics from the National Weather Service.

In Danville, it was the snowiest meteorological winter (43.5 inches) and the seventh-coldest (a 23.5-degree average temperature) since records began in 1895.

Timeline of a tornado

Jeffrey Frame, a University of Illinois clinical professor in atmospheric sciences, has traveled throughout the Midwest, Plains states and other regions of the country tracking and observing tornadoes, lake effect snowstorms and other severe weather. With a statewide tornado drill set for 10 a.m.

Roads get fresh coating

Area is relatively unscathed, but plows out in force

URBANA — Like almost every other Illinoisan, Tracy Wingler is tired of winter.

Snow has meant very few weekends off since December for Champaign County's highway maintenance supervisor.

"It seems like every storm has been on the weekend or a holiday," he said. "The men are loving it. I'm not. The budget's not."

UI meteorologist to speak at safety event

URBANA — University of Illinois meteorologist Jeffrey Frame, who takes students to the Great Plains each spring to observe tornadoes and thunderstorms, will speak at a free weather-safety event at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Beckman Institute auditorium, 405 N. Mathews Ave., U.