7:55 p.m. ET 4/16/2006
B. Bernard and M. Ressler, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
During Sunday afternoon and the first part of the evening, Illinois had at least 16 tornado reports, 31 hail reports including one for baseball-size hail in the town of Normal and 8 damaging wind reports. Now severe thunderstorms are advancing into Indiana, northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio. Overnight, the primary threats are expected to be strong, damaging winds and hail as the storms cluster together and continue to slash eastward.
In the West, meanwhile, wintry weather continues to assault some mountain areas. Winter storm warnings remain posted for the Sierra Nevada in California and parts of west-central Montana. Snow levels in the Sierras are in the 4000- to 5000-foot range with as much as three feet of snow (total) forecast to pile up in areas above 7000 feet. Eight to 12 inches of snow are predicted for the Sawtooth, Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains of Idaho and western Montana where heavy snow warnings have been posted. A heavy snow warning is also in effect for the northern Wasatch of Utah for up to 2 feet. Winds remain quite strong and gusty across much of the West.