Metro-East News

Belleville among Southern Illinois cities under tornado watch

Southern Illinois and southeastern Missouri were under a tornado watch until 8 p.m. Tuesday, but a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis says the threat was worse earlier.

"The good news is it looks like the threat (of thunderstorms) will be moving out of the area,"said Jayson Gosselin, a meteorologist. He expected that to happened around rush hour.

A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for "tornado potential, and large hail with damaging winds," Gosselin said.

People in areas under warning, which include St. Clair, Bond and Washington counties, should be aware of the changing weather and have a plan in place to seek shelter, the NWS says.

Gosselin says the metro-east can expect a "quick hit of the storm" between about 3 and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A complete list of Illinois counties under the watch include:

  • Alexander

  • Bond

  • Clark

  • Clay

  • Clinton

  • Coles

  • Crawford

  • Cumberland

  • Douglas

  • Edgar

  • Edwards

  • Effingham

  • Fayette

  • Franklin

  • Gallatin

  • Hamilton

  • Hardin

  • Jackson

  • Jasper

  • Jefferson

  • Johnson

  • Lawrence

  • Marion

  • Massac

  • Monroe

  • Moultrie

  • Perry

  • Pope

  • Pulaski

  • Randolph

  • Richland

  • Saline

  • Shelby

  • St. Clair

  • Union

  • Wabash

  • Washington

  • Wayne

  • White

  • Williamson

Meanwhile, temperatures reached the low 70s at midday Tuesday, but another freeze was expected Tuesday night. Lows heading into Wednesday were listed at 29 degrees by the National Weather Service, with more moderate temps on Wednesday: a high of 45, with a low of 31. Showers and a thunderstorm were expected Tuesday afternoon, with high winds and large hail possible.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535, @MaryCooleyBND

If your area is under a tornado warning, would you know what to do to stay safe? You may only have a few minutes to get to safety. Knowing what actions to take when a tornado threatens your area can keep you and your family safe. For more info on