On the evening of July 24, 2009, I was in Apple River Canyon in northwest Illinois and we had a tremendous hail storm. The entire tri-state area was hit by severe storms. Do you have details?
—Terri Grommes, Batavia
Severe thunderstorms lashed northwest Illinois, eastern Iowa and southwest Wisconsin for almost four hours that evening. Winds were as high as 90 mph and much of the hail was between golf-ball and tennis-ball size. The hail devastated area crops, stripped leaves off trees, broke windows, dented autos and damaged roofs and siding. Power in the area was out for hours. The largest hailstone —2.5 inches in diameter—was reported at Stockton, Ill. Heavy rain produced flash flooding in the Sterling area causing some roads to be closed.
Thanks to Kari Pitstick for passing along this great shot of a severe thunderstorm bearing down on the Maple Park area Monday night just after 10pm. The storm went on to produce 70 mph winds there.
Photo by Kari Pitstick
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued until 4AM Wednesday for a large portion of northeast Illinois, including the City of Chicago.
This watch includes the following counties: Cook, Lake, McHenry, Du Page, Kane, DeKalb, Kendall, La Salle, Boone, Winnebago, Lee and Ogle.
Below: Severe Weather Watch #60 with current radar
Most of the Chicago area should remain storm-free through the rest of the evening. A cold front will begin to approach after midnight sparking an increase in thunderstorm activity. Despite the loss of daytime heating and the return of a lake wind, there is still potential for strong to severe thunderstorms due to potent upper level dynamics
The Storm Prediction Center may issue a new Severe Thunderstorm Watch for portions of northern Illinois by 10PM.
A warm front sweeping north across the Chicago area resulted in some remarkable temperature jumps, and a new Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for Southern Wisconsin.
For the very latest, check out the WGN Severe Weather Blog
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for most of Southern Wisconsin until 11PM including Kenosha, Racine, Lake Geneva and Milwaukee.
Below: Outline of Severe Weather Watch #58