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Warm weather on the way, followed by wind
Jeehi Kwak, from Seoul, South Korea, an Illinois State University student in the certification program, which is similar to the graduate program, practices flute on the quad Tuesday afternoon. (Pantagraph/ASHLEIGH RUTLEDGE)

BLOOMINGTON - You may need a hat to help keep cool today but you'll likely have a hard time keeping it on.

After a couple of days of cool temperatures, today's high is expected to top the 90- degree mark.

The heat will be short lived, thanks to an approaching cold front. But that front also will bring a threat of straight-line winds, isolated hail and possibly a tornado, according to the National Weather Service in Lincoln.

"The winds before the squall line could do some damage," said meteorologist Kirk Huettl. Gusts could be 45 to 55 mph during the day.

The strong low pressure coming from the Plains states is expected to be in the Bloomington-Normal area after midnight. If it comes in earlier, it could be a repeat of June 1998 when a similar system spawned seven weak tornadoes and caused considerable wind damage around Morton and Peoria.

That system came through in the heat of the day, Huettl said.

Even if it tracks through the Twin Cities during the early morning hours, Huettl said the system is strong enough to bring some severe weather.

"The biggest threat is northwest of Bloomington," he said.

The strong wind ahead of the storm is typical of March, April and November but not June, Huettl said. The following squall line storm, however, usually comes through Central Illinois once or twice this time of year.

Once the fast-moving system is through the area, Central Illinois is expected to have a beautiful weekend. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s on Friday and Saturday and about 80 degrees on Sunday. A chance of rain or thunderstorms returns on Monday.

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