National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Frigid Temperatures with Dangerous Wind Chills; Heavy Rain and Flooding

An arctic cold front will continue to plunge southward through the Plains, Mississippi Valley and the Northwest quadrant of the U.S. on Sunday. As a result, widespread frigid and well below normal temperatures are expected along with dangerous wind chills. Meanwhile, heavy rain and flooding are possible for the Gulf Coast states and much of Hawaii. Read More >

Office Overview



WFO Central IllinoisThe Central Illinois Weather Forecast Office is located at the Logan County Airport in Lincoln. The office is along state highway 10 east of town, just east of Lincoln Christian University.

What We Do

The Lincoln NWS office provides warnings, forecasts, and other weather and climate information to the public, media, emergency management, and other customers. Our office is open around the clock, 365 days of the year. The Central Illinois WFO is one of 122 that are operated by the National Weather Service, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Our office opened in 1995.

Many of the employees work rotating shifts. Meteorologists prepare graphical, digital, and aviation forecasts, as well as issue weather watches, warnings and advisories. They also monitor weather observations, launch weather balloons, monitor NOAA Weather Radio, operate the Cooperative Observer Network, and provide public service.

Take a virtual tour of our office, a tour of the Doppler radar, and see how we conduct weather balloon launches


Forecast and Warning Area


The Lincoln NWS forecast office is responsible for 35 counties across central, east central, and southeast Illinois, covering a total of 19,343 square miles and a population of approximately 1.65 million. Additionally, we serve as the liaison between the NWS offices that cover Illinois, and the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield. County Warning Area

Our County Warning Area includes the cities of Bloomington/Normal, Champaign/Urbana, Decatur, Effingham, Galesburg, Jacksonville, Mattoon,  Olney, Peoria, and Springfield.

Our Hydrologic Service Area includes the following rivers in central and southeast Illinois:

  • Illinois River from the Bureau/Putnam County border south to Beardstown.
  • Mackinaw River
  • Spoon River
  • Sangamon River
  • Vermilion River near Danville
  • Embarras River
  • Little Wabash River from Clay City upstream


Our Staff

There currently are 22 people that work at our office:

  • Meteorologist-in-Charge (Ryan Knutsvig):  
    The MIC oversees the operations of the Weather Forecast Office.  Besides administrative duties and personnel management, the MIC will fill forecast shifts as needed.
  • Warning Coordination Meteorologist (Ed Shimon):  
    The WCM coordinates all warning functions within the office. This includes conducting spotter training, and working with local emergency managers and media personnel.  The WCM will fill forecast shifts as needed.
  • Science and Operations Officer (Andy Taylor):  
    The SOO is the office's principal and senior science adviser, and is in charge of all systems training for the employees.  The SOO makes sure that the staff is kept up to date on advances in meteorological forecasting and warning operations, and makes sure our products meet local, regional, and national NWS standards. The SOO will fill forecast shifts as needed.
  • Operations Program Leader (Vacant):  
    The OPL oversees data collection, quality control, and dissemination of observational data from the office. This includes the operations of the cooperative observer program, climate data, river observations, and upper-air observations.  The OPL will fill in on data acquisition shifts as needed.
  • Service Hydrologist (Darrin Hansing):  
    The SH is in charge of the office's hydrology program. This involves river, flood, and water-supply forecasts, and necessary research.  The hydrologist is the primary contact with external agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The hydrologist also fills in on data acquisition shifts as needed.
  • Electronics Systems Analyst (Mark Stacey):  
    The ESA is in charge of overseeing all equipment maintenance at the office. This includes the local computer network, the main AWIPS computer system for the office, heating and cooling systems, the Automated Surface Observation System at area airports, the Doppler radar, and upper-air observation equipment.
  • Information Technology Officer (Tom Spriggs):  
    The ITO provides applications and program support for the office. This includes installing, configuring, and maintaining local applications, as well as programs and scripts in both the Windows and Linux operating systems.
  • Administrative Support Assistant (Debbie Johnson):
    The ASA performs technical aspects of all administrative programs and activities for the office.  This includes items related to budget, funds control, purchasing, procurement, contract monitoring, property, personnel actions, time and attendance, etc. The ASA also operates as a liaison with NWS Central Region Headquarters, and works with the personnel agency on administrative-type matters.
  • Senior Meteorologists (James Auten, Ben Deubelbeiss, Chris Geelhart, Daryl Onton, Chuck Schaffer)
    General Meteorologists (Mike Albano, Nicole Albano, Matt Barnes, John Bumgardner, Rebekka Delaney, Alex Erwin, Kirk Huettl, Vacant:  

    The meteorologists routinely work forecast operations. They are responsible for issuing public and aviation forecasts, severe weather warnings, river flood warnings, and work with external government partners to provide decision support services. They also conduct weather balloon launches, monitor NOAA Weather Radio, disseminate climate observation tables, and transmit Local Storm Reports during adverse weather conditions. The senior meteorologists serve as the shift supervisor as well.
  • Electronics Technicians (Kyle Clark, Ryan Clary):  
    The electronics technicians are responsible for maintaining the equipment needed for forecast operations. This includes the Doppler radar, automated observing systems, upper-air equipment, office computers, and NOAA Weather Radio systems. These technicians often have to work outdoors in all kinds of weather.



Office construction, 1994Our office opened in 1995, as a merger of the existing NWS offices in Peoria and Springfield. The twice-daily weather balloon launches began in February of that year, and warning operations began in late September. Forecast duties for central Illinois airports were transferred from the Chicago NWS office in April 1996, and we began routine public forecast duties in July 1999.

For a more complete history of weather services, visit the following links:

History of weather services in central Illinois:  
Histories of offices nationwide: 
History of upper-air weather observations in Illinois:


Contact Us


By E-mail:

By Phone: (217) 732-3089


Tours are best suited for 3rd grade and above.
  • Groups over 20 people will need to be divided into smaller groups.
  • A typical tour will last about an hour.
  • All tours are subject to rescheduling, due to inclement weather. 
Contact:  Ed Shimon
Phone:  (217) 732-3089 ext. 726

Job Shadows:
  • Job shadows are typically arranged for high school or college students.
  • Job shadows sit with forecasters in our operations area, to learn about  our operations, and to ask questions regarding the weather, careers,  educational requirements, etc.
Contact:  Andy Taylor
Phone:  (217) 732-3089 ext. 766

Employment Opportunities: