Severe weather warning issued until this Friday

Hannah Shillo, Associate News Editor

Unfavorable weather on the second day of the semester called for umbrellas, rain coats and rain boots.

The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Coles County, among other areas in central, east central, southeast and west central Illinois early Tuesday morning.

Everett Lau, WEIU Newswatch’s Sky Watch Local Forecaster, said the severe weather threat is still in effect Wednesday and Thursday, but the threat is lower than it was Tuesday.

“The main threats are just going to be gusty winds with some of the stronger storms,” Lau said. “Maybe some small hail, but the better threat for severe weather was (Tuesday), so fortunately we’re looking a little bit better.”

Some students were unaware of the chance of severe weather, and therefore, were unprepared for the rain that began shortly after some classes began Tuesday morning.

Mikayla Ruot, a junior music education major, said she left her umbrella and jacket in her off-campus apartment.

“I had to walk to my car in the pouring rain and it sucked,” Ruot said. “Even in that short amount of walking, I got drenched.

Other students, while unaware of the severe weather threat, kept the dark clouds in mind before heading to campus.

Jennifer Escobedo, a junior nursing major, said she considered herself lucky at the beginning of her day.

“I got to campus before it started raining, so I had a nice walk,” Escobedo said, “but then after I got out of class, it started pouring.”

Though there was a break in the storms Tuesday afternoon, Lau said there are still some potential hazards before Charleston is in the clear.

“Most of southern Illinois is under the marginal risk for severe weather (Wednesday),” Lau said. “Pretty much anywhere downstate Illinois could see some thunderstorms.”

In the event the severe weather threat becomes more prominent, Lau encouraged students to stay informed.

“Stay up to date changing weather conditions because, of course, with weather it can change all the time,” he said.

Following weather updates from local media is most reliable, according to Lau, and he advised students use outlets such as Newswatch, EIU WeatherCenter and The Daily Eastern News.

“(Phone apps) are not always the most accurate because they don’t interpret any data; they just spit out numbers,” Lau said. “If you get it from a local source, there’s someone that looks at it before they put it out.”

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].