The National Weather Service out of Paducah has issued a Special Weather Statement warning of a strong low-pressure system that will track from the Central Plains to the Great Lakes through Thursday. This will make for very windy conditions Wednesday, and especially Thursday.
A Wind Advisory is in effect today for southeast Missouri, far western Kentucky, and southwest Illinois, where wind gusts of 40 to 45 mph are expected. Even outside of the advisory, wind gusts across southwest Indiana, southeast Illinois and the remainder of western Kentucky could reach 35 to 40 mph this afternoon.
Thursday remains by far the greatest concern. Forecast models have been fairly consistent in showing a high likelihood of wind gusts of at least 40 to 50 mph on Thursday. A belt from southeast Missouri into southern Illinois could experience even stronger wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph.
Winds of this magnitude will likely result in at least some power outages due to downed trees and power lines. Some structural damage may occur. High profile vehicles will be especially difficult to control.
In addition to the potential for high gradient winds, there is also a risk for severe thunderstorms beginning late this afternoon in southeast Missouri and spreading east across the rest of the area tonight, then continuing into much of Thursday.
The greatest potential at this time appears to be focused from mid-morning through early afternoon Thursday, especially across southeast Illinois, southwest Indiana, and western Kentucky.
Damaging winds and tornadoes will both be possible.
Secure any loose outdoor objects and keep abreast of the latest forecast updates from the National Weather Service.