Signs of spring: Warmer temperatures, flowers beginning to bloom, buds growing on trees and the possibility of severe weather.
Tuesday's threat for strong to severe thunderstorms will be the first of the season and for Northern Illinois, so it's important to start thinking about severe weather preparedness and how to remain 'Weather Aware' tomorrow afternoon.
That cluster of storms will move east through Central Iowa and into Eastern Iowa and West-Central Illinois by daybreak Tuesday. More than likely these will be in a weakening stage and will not pose any threat for severe weather. However, small hail can't be ruled out west of a line from Freeport to Dixon.
As the cold front moves closer to the Mississippi River Tuesday afternoon, an increase in instability above the surface will occur. We might not completely realize instability at the surface due to cloud cover, though. A line of thunderstorms will then quickly develop east of the Mississippi River around 4pm and 5pm. This line will then quickly race east towards Rockford between 6pm and 8pm. After 8pm/9pm, the front will have passed with the storm threat moving towards Chicago.
Late winter/early spring storm systems might not have all ingredients come together to sustain severe weather, but it's important to remain 'Weather Aware' Tuesday. Have a way to receive watches and warnings and know make sure you know what to do or where to go if severe weather were to occur.